Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012 in Munich Lot 119

 
119
Gerhard Marcks
Drei Grazien, 1957.
Bronze
Estimate:
€ 30,000 / $ 36,000
Sold:
€ 63,440 / $ 76.128

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Drei Grazien. 1957.
Bronze with brown patina.
Rudloff 664. With artist's signet on plinth, numbered "I" and with foundry mark "Guss Rich Barth Bln Mariendorf" on verso. One of three known casts from an edition of 6 copies. Ca. 108,5 x 61 x 37 cm (42,7 x 24 x 14,5 in).
The group of figures was preceded by a smaller model from 1956. The artist's collection of photographs contained a picture of a mural of the three Graces in Pompeji (National Museum Naples), so it can be assumed that Marcks was inspired to work on this theme in context of a journey to Italy in 1956. One of the rare large-sized groups of figures by teh artist on the international auction market.

PROVENANCE: Private ownership USA.

EXHIBITION: (Selection)
Paintings, Watercolors, Sculptures, Gerson Gallery, New York 1958, cat. no. 45 (with illu., presumably different copy).
Gerhard Marcks. Rückblick und Gegenwart, Akademie der Künste, Berlin 1963, cat. no. 307 (with illu., presumably different copy).
Gerhard Marcks, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne 1964, cat. no. 43 (presumably different copy).
Gerhard Marcks, Musée Rodin, Paris 1971/72, cat. no. 29 (with illu., presumably different copy).

LITERATURE: Rudolf Hoffmann, Gerhard Marcks - 70 Jahre, Hamburg 1959, illu. pp. 13, 15.

Gerhard Marcks was born in Berlin on 18 February 1889. He moved into a joint studio with the sculptor Richard Scheibe after graduating from school in 1908. His artistic work was interrupted by military service in 1912 in Lübeck and the war. Bruno Paul offered the artist a teaching post at the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin in 1918. Marcks accepted the offer, but joined Walter Gropius at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar one year later. He was made responsible for the Bauhaus pottery in Dornburg/Saale in 1920. After five years Paul Thiersch appointed Marcks to teach the sculpture class at the Kunstgewerbeschule Burg Giebichenstein/Halle on the Saale. During this period Marcks went on several trips to Italy and Paris and in 1928 he travelled to Greece for the first time. In this year he was awarded the Villa-Romana-Prize. When Marcks was dismissed from his teaching post on Burg Giebichenstein in 1933 he moved to Niehagen in Mecklenburg. Four years later his works were confiscated. Like many other artists, he suffered under National Socialist cultural politics: he was banned from exhibiting and threatened with a ban on continuing his profession. Two of his works were shown in the exhibition "Degenerate Art". The studio house in Berlin-Nikolassee, which had been built five years earlier, was bombed during an air raid in 1943, destroying most of the artist's works. Other works which were stored in Halle were also destroyed in 1945. After the end of the war Marcks taught at the Landeskunstschule in Hamburg. He moved to Cologne-Müngersorf in 1950 where he had a studio and worked as an independent artist. He was awarded with prizes such as the Großer Kunstpreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen in 1954, or the Kunstpreis der Stadt Berlin in 1955. In 1952 he was made a knight of the peace class of the order "Pour la Mérité".

This group of figures takes on the ancient theme of the Three Graces holding one another by the arm. In this composition Marcks’ focus was on the space circumscribed by the three figures. He wrote to his friend, the sculptor Hans Wimmer (1907-1992): 'I have just completed a very old-fashioned motif: The Three Graces! (..) It is actually just the space encompassed by the three girls.' With this newly developed interest in space and its limits, Marcks opens towards tendencies that were omnipresent in post-war sculpting. The same applies to the strongly stylized figures that largely do without a modeled sculptural surface. The bodies are very linear, even slightly over-accentuated, in terms of both their basic form as well as their details.“ (Transl. of quote after: www.marcks.de/plastik.aspx, as of: 31 October, 2012).

Numerous travels during the 1960s and 1970s took the artist to the USA and to Mexico, South Africa, Italy and Greece, where he bought a summer house on the island of Aegina in 1960. Marcks established another home in Hain in the Eiffel in 1973. He died eight years later from a stroke. [JG].

119
Gerhard Marcks
Drei Grazien, 1957.
Bronze
Estimate:
€ 30,000 / $ 36,000
Sold:
€ 63,440 / $ 76.128

(incl. 22% surcharge)