Auction 136B

Modern Art

13. December 2017 at 3:00 PM CEST


Pre auction report 'Modern Art', December 13, 2017

Important objects from the Conceptual Art of the late 1960s and early 1970s stem from a private collection in North-Rhine-Westphalia, for example works by Bernard Aubertin, TAKIS, Julio LeParc, Malcolm Carder and Tadaaki Kuwayama, most bought at "Galerie Reckermann, Cologne". Curator and writer Walter Vitt wrote about the latter artist during the "Tadaaki Kuwayama" exhibition at the Galerie Reckermann in 1982: "Like Stella and Kelly, Japanese Tadaaki Kuwayama belongs too into the circle of artists that questioned and overcame the principle of the 'shaped canvas', the European notion of a balance between disparate colour and shape elements and the 'Big Picture'". Vitt goes on about Kuwayama's unique painting technique: "If the autonomy of Kuwayama and his rigorous position as antipode of the classic notion of paintings was to be highlighted, it would have to be pointed out that his painting technique has found its own way as well. His consideration about having light correspond with his works led him to using these light-coloured metallic colours whose glimmer earns them the name 'Kuwayama atmosphere'. The Japanese artist creates his own colour pastes. Metallic powders (aluminium, copper or brass) and colour pigments are bound in clear flaxseed oil. Then the artist spackles the matter evenly on his canvases. The trowel traces - faint, not very structured - remain visible. Each layer has to dry for approximately three weeks before the second, third, fourth or fifth layer can be applied. Most of the time, he puts several colour pastes over the other." With his technique, Kuwayama created surfaces that reflect the light in the most different manners, for example in his four-partite, 184.0 x 61.0 cm composition that will be on offer in December's auction (tax: €12,000 - 15,000). Moreover, five small paper works, mostly watercolours, by Antonio Calderara are on offer, having four-digit estimates and being accompanied by certificates of the Fondazione Antonio e Carmela Calderara. A collection of publications from the Conceptual Art sector was published by the Städtische Museum Mönchengladbach, whose director from 1967 to 1985 was Johannes Cladders (1924-2007). Cladders paved the way for Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Jannis Kounellis and other representatives of the Conceptual Art, dedicating them comprehensive single exhibitions. In the 1970s, instead of publishing traditional exhibition catalogues, Cladders had small boxes made, containing one work of the artist with accompanying text, most in an edition of 300 to 440 copies. Cladder's boxes could be purchased for DM12 at that time. 12 boxes are on offer, for example by Gerhard Richter, Piero Manzoni, Blinky Palermo, James Lee Byars, Lawrence Weiner, Daniel Buren e.a. (taxes between 3-4 digits). Two interesting object boxes by performance- and object artist H.A. Schult are on offer, both made in 1972. His material object ,Biokinetik am Mittelmeerporsche des Aufsehers‘ once belonged to the collection of Heinrich Kniffler Junior, Saarbrücken, now up for auction at Quittenbaum's from a South-German collection. In 1973, it was on loan at Museum Wiesbaden for the exhibition „H.A. Schult - Kaputte Idylle“ (tax €5,500-6,000). A complimentary sketch on an invitation card of the CFA-Galerie Berlin stems from US-artist Dash Snow who died from a heroin overdose. The sketch was made during the vernissage of his exhibition „The End of Living - The Beginning of Survival“ in 2007 and has been part of a private collection ever since (tax €1,500-2,000).

The highest bid of the auction was placed for the untitled painting (catalogue number 83) by Tadaaki Kuwayama, 1971, coming from a Rhenish private collection. Offering €14,000, a European telephone bidder managed to outbid potential buyers from the USA and Japan. Coming from the same collection, Julio Le Parc‘s „Continuel Luminière Cylindre“ from 1966 (catalogue number 84) went to a Swiss bidder for the hammer price of €6,000. The „Signals“ by TAKIS, designed in 1968 (catalogue number 113), were knocked down for €9,000. Regarding book editions and printed graphics, the works by Andy Warhol were particularly popular, especially the „Giant Size $ 1,57“record sleeve from 1963, which reached the hammer price of €7,200 (catalogue number 119). A plate from the „Service Visage Noir“, designed by Pablo Picasso and Madoura in 1948, went to Prague for €5,600, well above its estimate price of €950-1,000.

Purchase unsold lots in our post auction sale until 12 January 2018.