Sale: 502 / Modern Art II, July 18. 2020 in Munich Lot 387

Josef Scharl
Arbeiterbildnis, 1930.
Oil on canvas
€ 12,000 - 15,000

$ 13,680 - 17,100

Lot description
Arbeiterbildnis. 1930.
Oil on canvas.
Firmenich/Lukas 156. Signed and dated in lower right. With a label on the stretcher, there signed, titled and inscribed with an address. 159 x 53 cm (62.5 x 20.8 in). [JS].

• The physiognomy of the nameless protagonists in Scharl's masterworks from the 1920/30s reflect experiences of agony, toil, poverty and resignation.
• Highly modern composition that anticipates new tenencies in contemporary figuration from Bacon to Photorealism.
• Similar paintings are at the Lenbachhaus, Munich, the Kunsthalle Emden and the Bavarian State Paintign Collection, Munich

PROVENANCE: Artist's estate (1954).
Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin (acquired from aforementioned).
Private collection Northern Germany (acquired from aforementioned).

"I come across very few human faces, their facial features clearly show that they have participated in all conceivable things in the world, such as suffering, joy, knowledge and conscious reason."
Josef Scharl, 1951, quote from: Andrea Firmenich (ed.), Josef Scharl, Cologne 1999, p. 36.

Called up: July 18, 2020 - ca. 15.27 h +/- 20 min.

In Scharl's masterpieces from the 1920s and 30s the painful experiencesof suffering, toil, poverty and resignation left their traces in the physiognomy of its nameless protagonists. They are human landscapes shaped by the course of existence over the years. They reveal their life in its entire emotional range to the observer. In our early "Arbeiterbild" (Worker's Portrait) Scharl entirely concentrated on these physiognomic peculiarities, placing the isolated human figure against a dark background. Isolation and decontextualization make for the character of this impressive work, which is still regarded as highly modern today. Of course, the drawn facial features and the chunky hands shaped by hardphysical labor are reminiscent of the early van Gogh or Otto Dix'sfamous "Bildnis der Eltern" (Portrait of the Parents, 1921, Kunstmuseum Basel. 1924, Sprengel Museum, Hanover), However, Dix'sparents still took a seat on a Wilhelminian-style sofa in front of a brightly painted wall, which, at a quick glance, hints atthe classic tradition of thedouble portrait. In this work offered here, however, Scharl entirely focuses on the individual which he removes from anysocial context. Almost like in a pathological autopsy, it is presented reduced to its mere physicality and thus confrontingus even more strikingly with its human presence. This immediacy, from which the viewer can hardly escape, anticipates tendencies of post-war Modernism from Baselitz andBacon to the exaggerated, veristicportraits of photo-realism. [JS]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Josef Scharl "Arbeiterbildnis"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation.

Differential taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 32 % buyer's premium
Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 32%, for the share above € 500,000: 27% buyer's premium
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 25 % buyer's premium plus statutory sales tax Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 25%, for the share above € 500.000: 20% buyer's premium, each plus statutory sales tax

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Resale right apportionment:
Objects made by artists who have not died at least 70 years ago are subject to a resale right apportionment of 2.4% including statutory sales tax.