Sale: 361 / Post War/ Contemporary Art, Dec. 12. 2009 in Munich Lot 315

 
Gerhard Altenbourg - Dulce et Decorum. Gedichte und Zeichnungen von Altenbourg


 
315
Gerhard Altenbourg
Dulce et Decorum. Gedichte und Zeichnungen von Altenbourg, 1957.
Pen and India ink drawing
Estimate:
€ 35,000 / $ 42,000
Sold:
€ 40,260 / $ 48.312

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description

Artist's book with 24 Pen and India ink drawing, mostly worked over in colors, and watercolors (2) as well as with text pages by the artist. With two additional colored India ink drawings on front and rear board
Janda 57/58. Signed, dated and titled on binding. ith dedication on front endpaper: "Weil ich meinen Kunsthändler so lieb / habe / Für Herrn Rudolf Springer / und Frau Brigitte / Berlin 1957", sowie auf dem Titelblatt verso bezeichnet "Die Gedichte dieses Bandes / entstammen / den Jahren 1947 - 1955. / Gezeichnet / und / geschrieben / wurde / der Band 1955/1956 / Gedichte von Altenbourg / Schrift und Zeichnungen von Altenbourg / Einband von Altenbourg / Berlin, den 1. November 1957 /Ströch Altenbourg". Unique piece. On creme laid paper. Size of binding: 33,5 x 22,5 cm (13,1 x 8,8 in)
Handbound double sheets in orig. half cloth binding.

PROVENANCE: Rudolf Springer, Berlin.
Private collection Rhineland.

EXHIBITION: Gerhard Altenbourg. Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Galerie Springer, Berlin, 16 February - 19 April 1979.
Grafik und Poesie. Gerhard Altenbourg - Bernhard Theilmann/Eberhard Göschel, Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst Trier, Galerie Palais Walderdorff, 22 March - 21 April 2002.

LITERATURE: Gerhard Altenbourg. Catalog Raisonneé 1947-1969, published by Dieter Brusberg in co-operation with Annegret Janda, Hanover 1969, S. 164.
Lothar Lang, Von Hegenbarth bis Altenbourg. Buchillustration und Künstlerbuch in der DDR, Stuttgart 2000, p. 230, illu. p. 231.

Gerhard Altenbourg was born as Gerhard Ströch in Rödichen-Schnepfenthal/Thuringia in 1926. In the middle of the 1950s he adopted the slightly altered name of the town Altenburg as a pseudonym. The versatile artist attended to painting and graphic art as well as to sculpture and poetry in his lifetime.
After having participated in the war he worked as a journalist and author in Altenburg at first. As early as in the mid 1940s the first oil paintings and colored pencil drawings were executed during painting lessons with Erich Dietz. Between 1948 and 1950 Altenbourg studied at the School of Architecture and Fine Arts in Weimar under Hans Hoffmann-Lederer. In 1952 Gerhard Altenbourg's first solo exhibition took place at the Galerie Springer in Berlin, to which he left most of his works between 1951 and 1961.

This artist’s book "Dulce et decorum" from 1957, in which poems and drawings by Altenbourg have been combined to an impressive bibliophilic work of art, is dedicated to Altenbourg‘s art dealer and patron, the gallery owner Rudolf Springer. The Latin title is a short version of a verse from a Horaz ode that was much-cited in times of war "Dulce et decorum pro patria mori- How sweet and honorable to die for one’s home country ". Altenbourg has compiled texts under this title that are partly based on notes dating back to the year 1947. In these notes he tried to verbalize and work up the agonizing experiences made as a soldier in World War II. He has chosen passages that bitterly express the cruelties and war’s inhumanities, but also how paradox the sharp division in friend and foe is. "Bruder Häftling im Unkraut verendet / Ich habe den Feind getötet/ Bruder Speiering im Friedhof trägt weisse Doldentrauben"

In 1959 he participated in the documenta II. Several exhibitions, et al. in 1969/70 the first retrospective at the Galerie Brusberg in Berlin followed. Altenbourg received several awards for his work, e.g. the prize of 'II. Internationale der Zeichnung' in Darmstadt in 1967 and the Will-Grohmann Prize one year later. In 1989 Altenbourg died from the consequences of a car accident. [JS].

315
Gerhard Altenbourg
Dulce et Decorum. Gedichte und Zeichnungen von Altenbourg, 1957.
Pen and India ink drawing
Estimate:
€ 35,000 / $ 42,000
Sold:
€ 40,260 / $ 48.312

(incl. 22% surcharge)