A master, his studio, his art collection, that's what this auction is all about Anyone who has visited the Italian painter, sculptor and graphic artist Bruno Bruni in his studio in Hamburg Altona, who has enjoyed his cooking and speaking skills, is completely immersed in his cosmos and will leave this place again with many impressions and inspirations for his life. Bruno Brunis vita is a well-rounded thing, he has created a beautiful, rich life for himself, and you can see that in him. In addition to numerous books about his artistic work, which have been published in numerous languages, his cookbook 'Gaumenfreuden & Kunstgenuss. Meine Art zu leben' was published in 2005, written from a very personal point of view and artistically designed and edited by him. In it his friend, the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, describes him very aptly, one could hardly formulate it better: 'Bruno is a friend who knows that friendship has nothing to do with social position, but embraces the human being with their strengths and especially with their weaknesses. Bruno is a person who lives. For his art. For his wife. For his sons. For his friends. He enjoys life. A life that only knows its origin, its family, in which the human always was the most important. That's how he is. (1) To have met Bruno Bruni is something like a gift. It is a privilege to be able to auction off the highlights of his art collection, which he has collected over many years. Dear Bruno Bruni, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much!
Bruno Bruni lived with his collection The pieces hung on the walls of his famous Hamburg domicile, a converted swimming pool in Altona, which was already in use around 1870. After it had been closed, he acquired it and installed his studio and his living spaces here in a - spatially very generous and unusual - place. Bruno Bruni was not a speculative collector, but rather uncomfortable, almost hated. He himself, rather an 'aesthete and political being' (2), sums up not without discontent: 'Being a collector, if you have money, is no achievement. I have two or three drawings by Dix, which I paid off with 50 marks a month. 30 Picassos - that's not love, that's an investment.' (3)
**What awaits you in this auction? Bruno Bruni has artistic preferences and friends who are or were also artists. Bruno Bruni's involvement with art history, with which he is very familiar, and his circle of friends, which he, as we have experienced, cultivates very well, are the basis of his private art collection, actually also of his artistic work. My love (...) remains the Old Masters, Leonardo, Piero de la Francesca, Raphael, especially Michelangelo'. (4) Of course, these iconic Renaissance artists can no longer be collected in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
What is equally close to his heart is the art of the German New Objectivity, that of the 1920s. Bruni likes Otto Dix above all. 'Dix was my idol' (5), so his brief statement. According to his inclination there are five drawings in pencil and ink by Otto Dix in his collection and in this auction, furthermore three early, rare etchings. Bruno Bruni has compiled six drawings - including those with strong erotic connotations - and an autograph from his artist colleague George Grosz. Five drawings by Rudolf Schlichter from his best creative period also pay homage to erotic themes. It is the world of the female sex and once again the Eros, a subject that runs through the entire collection in a more subtle and then more ostentatious way. And there are two ink drawings by the versatile artist Bruno Voigt, both made in the early 1930s. They were part of the collection of Marvin and Janet Fishman in Milwaukee and offer us a new perspective on the social conditions in the late Weimar Republic, which for the first time offered artists the opportunity to depict what really moved them.
**The character of Bruno Bruni's generosity is matched by the fact that, in addition to works from the New Objectivity epoch, his collection also includes works from completely different artistic trends, such as a gouache by Renato Guttuso, with whom Bruni was familiar: 'In my youth in Italy, Renato Guttuso had been my idol (...), a good painter. He came to Hamburg as a guest lecturer with his wife Mimise. We cooked spaghetti.' (6) And so the circle, typical for Bruni, closes again with a meal together - a ritual that is indispensable in the life of this artist, collector and excellent cook!
*¶ Dr. Bettina Krogemann ¶
1Gerhard Schröder, handschriftliches Schreiben vom Juli 2005, veröffentlicht in ‚Gaumenfreuden & Kunstgenuss. Meine Art zu Leben‘, Hrsg. Bruno Bruni, Weil der Stadt, 2005, S. 5. 2 Ibid., S.58. 3 Ibid., S. 131. 4 Ibid., S. 140. 5 Ibid., S. 43. 6 Ibid., S. 43.