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Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012 in Munich Lot 26

Lot description
Frauen am Meer. 1919.
Watercolor and gouache over pencil.
Signed and dated lower left as well as titled by Siddy Heckel. On light paper, upper margin perforated. 43,3 x 58 cm (17 x 22,8 in), the full sheet.

Accompanied by a photo confirmation issued by Renate Ebner, estate Erich Heckel, Hemmenhofen, dated 7 August, 2012. The watercolor is registered in the archive.

PROVENANCE: Friedrich Schreiber-Weigand (first director of the 'Städtische Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz', founded in 1920 and exhibition curator at 'Kunsthütte', Chemnitz).
Private collection Schleswig-Holstein.
Private collection Hamburg.

EXHIBITION: Sächsischer Kunstverein, Dresden no. 1887/9 (with cut out exhibition note on verso of mount).
Kunsthütte zu Chemnitz, presumably 1931, no. 650 (with cut out exhibition note on verso of mount).

LITERATURE: "Genius", year 21, 1st book, p. 77 (with illu.) .

In 1904 Heckel began to study architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden but dropped out after only a year. When Heckel joined his fellow artists Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Fritz Bleyl and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to form the group known as 'Die Brücke' in 1905, the path was cleared for Expressionism. Heckel now devoted himself to various print-making media, such as the woodcut, lithography and etching. Luminous landscapes in glowing color were the result. In autumn 1911 Heckel moved to Berlin. By then he knew Pechstein, Nolde and Mueller, who had joined 'Die Brücke'. Other contemporaries with whom he was in contact were Marc, Macke and Feininger. In 1912 Heckel and Kirchner decorated the chapel for the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne. A year later 'die Brücke' was disbanded. Heckel's first one-man show was mounted by Gurlitt in Berlin. From 1915 until 1918 Heckel served as a medical orderly in Flanders and then returned to Berlin, where he remained domiciled until early in 1944. Heckel spent most summers on the Flensburg Fiord.

The expressive watercolor shows on of the artist’s most popular motifs. Erich Heckel found many motifs during his stays in Osterholz on the Flensburg Fiord. As a result of an intensive examination of the sea’s ever changing light occurrences, he had put a special focus on the sky’s reflection on the water as an element of his observations of nature. The painting "Gläserner Tag" from 1913 is the most remarkable example thereof, Erich Heckel took on this motif several times and rendered different variations. The strokes of the brush, unusually strong for a watercolor, show their duct through the usage of opaque colors and create direct tension in the observer’s perception. Erich Heckel renders just the forces of creation that were omnipresent in earlier works from his Dresden days. Milder in the approach of reality, Erich Heckel’s watercolors from these days are an important contribution to German Modernism in the first half of the 20\up5 th century.

Many travels took him to the Alps, Southern France, Northern Spain and Northern Italy. 729 of his works were confiscated in German museums in 1937 and his studio in Berlin was destroyed in an air raid in Berlin shortly before the end of the war, destroying all his printing blocks and many of his works. Heckel subsequently moved to Hemmenhofen on Lake Constance. In 1949 he was appointed professor at the Academy of Visual Arts in Karlsruhe, a post that he held until 1955. During this decade the still life became an increasingly important subject in Heckel's work. His style was now calmer, more balanced with an almost lyrical atmosphere. Erich Heckel was honored with exhibitions in numerous German cities in 1953 to celebrate his 70th birthday - and again ten years later on his 80th birthday. Heckel was also awarded numerous prizes: the 'Kunstpreis' of the city of Berlin (1957), of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (1961) and the 'Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz' (Federal Cross of Merit, 1956). [KD]

Erich Heckel
Frauen am Meer, 1919.
€ 60,000 / $ 67,800
€ 109,800 / $ 124.073

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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