Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012 in Munich Lot 17

 
17
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Badendes Paar im Atelier, 1908.
Charcoal drawing
Estimate:
€ 40,000 / $ 48,000
Sold:
€ 61,000 / $ 73.200

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Badendes Paar im Atelier. Um 1908.
Charcoal drawing.
With inscription on verso, as well as with estate stamp of Kunstmuseum Basel (Lugt 1570 b) and the (barely legible) registration number: K D...118. On firm brownish Japon. 60 x 49,4 cm (23,6 x 19,4 in), the full sheet.
This work is documented in the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Archive Wichtrach/Bern.

PROVENANCE: Estate Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
Graf von der Goltz, Düsseldorf.
Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York.
Wolfgang Wittrock art shop, Düsseldorf.
Private collection Northern Germany (acquired in 1983).

EXHIBITION: Mostra dell' Espressionismo, Maggio Musicale, Florence, 1964, no. 3.
Wolfgang Wittrock art shop, Düsseldorf 1979, cat. 26 with illu.
Wolfgang Wittrock art shop, Düsseldorf 1980, cat. 66 with illu.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Paintings and Works on Paper, Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York, 1983, cat. 2 with illu.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Srawings, watercolors, pastels, Kunsthalle Nuremberg, 20 June - 29 September, 1991, cat. no. 11 with illu.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Watercolors and drawings, Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig and Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, 1992-92, no. 3 with illu.
Im Zentrum, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Eine Hamburger Privatsammlung, travelling exhibition, Kunsthalle Hamburg, 26 October, 2001 - 13 January, 2002, Kirchner Museum Davos, 27 January - 27 April, 2002, Brücke Museum Berlin, 17 January - 02 March, 2003, cat. 29 with illu.p. 31 (with label on rear of frame).
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: The Dresden and Berlin Years, National Gallery of Art, Washington: 2 March - 1 June, 2003, Kirchner: Expressionism and the City. Dresden and Berlin 1905-1918, Royal Academy of Arts, London: 28 June - 21 September, 2003, cat. 20 illu.(with label on rear of frame).
True Romance. Allegorien der Liebe von der Renaissance bis heute, Kunsthalle Vienna, 5 October, 2007 - 3 February, 2008, Museum Villa Stuck Munich, 21 February - 12 May, 2008, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, 31 May - 7 September, 2008, p. 120 with illu.
Kirchner, Hamburger Kunsthalle, 7 October, 2010 - 16 January, 2011, no. 140, p. 119 (with illu. in colors.).

LITERATURE: Will Grohmann, Kirchner-Zeichnungen, Arnolds graphische Bücher, Dresden 1925, 2nd series, vol. 6, no. 10 with illu.

Kirchner studied architecture in Dresden where he met and worked with Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. After finishing his studies, however, he opposed his father's wishes and decided to become a painter. The intense artistic and intellectual relationship between the four artists soon led to the formation of the artist group 'Die Brücke', which, according to Schmidt-Rottluff, wanted to "attract all revolutionary and restless forces". The artists began to work on the ’Viertelstundenakte', drawings on nude models in the studio or in open nature. At first the group oriented itself to artists from Late Impressionism. The discovery of the Fauves, South Seas' art and van Gogh led the painters to Expressionism.

This work is a preliminary work for the painting "Selbstbildnis mit Modell" (Gordon 121), which today is in possession of the ‘Hamburger Kunsthalle‘. In this work, which is one of the highlights in Kirchner‘s oeuvre of paintings, the artist portrayed himself with his then partner Doris Große, called "Dodo". The "Badende Paar im Atelier" (Bathing Couple in Studio), for which Kirchner presumably also chose himself and his lover as models, is a great document of the high rank the drawn studio scenes occupy in Kirchner‘s work. The sheet is not only an essential study for the composition of the famous oil painting, above all, it can be regarded an independent work of art, which for its technique is not inferior to the medium of painting. In his drawing and sketches in the years 1908/09, Kirchner was intensively occupied with nudes. The artist reduced the models‘ bodies to the contour line and still conveys an impression of full physicalness. In doing so, he varies the opportunities of reduced perspectives and is successful in appropriately rendering a situation without plastic modeling. This work is a great example of how the artist uses all his freedom of duct to achieve a strict reduction to the contour, thus emphasizing spatial and plastic values. "[..] [The human] figure is center of all art, because its form and dimension is basis and starting point of all sensation " (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, diary entry from 26 April, 1927, in: Donald E. Gordon, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Munich 1968, p. 29).

Due to the encounter with Italian Futurist works, the group's painting style changed and became ‚tougher'. Kirchner studied the sculptures at the Völkerkundemuseum in Dresden, which influenced his own wood sculptures. In 1911 Kirchner moved to Berlin. Here Kirchner discovered new motifs - city and street scenes. He painted them in a simplified manner, with sharply contoured forms, expressive features and clashing colors. The city paintings became incunables of Expressionism and made Kirchner one of the most important German artists of the 20th century. The beginning of world war I and the following years were a turning point in his life. The war experiences and military service caused an existential angst and led to illness and long stays in sanatoriums. The more remarkable was his artistic production of that time. Works like the woodcut ’Frauen am Potsdamer Platz' , the ’Bilder zu Chamisso's Peter Schlemihl', the self-portraits and woodcut pictures from the sanatoriums, which are counted among the highlights of his œuvre, came into existence. In 1917 Kirchner settled in Frauenkirch near Davos. The city scenes were now replaced by mountain landscapes and scenes of rural life. Around 1920 his painting style calmed down, his paintings had a carpet-like two dimensionality. Beside Kirchner also produced an extensive graphic work - wood cuts, lithographs and ink drawings. In 1923 Kirchner moved to the ’Haus auf dem Wildboden' at the entrance of the Sertig Valley where he lived and worked until he committed suicide in 1938. [EH/KH].

17
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Badendes Paar im Atelier, 1908.
Charcoal drawing
Estimate:
€ 40,000 / $ 48,000
Sold:
€ 61,000 / $ 73.200

(incl. 22% surcharge)