Sale: 520 / Evening Sale, June 18. 2021 in Munich Lot 329

Gerhard Hoehme
James Joyce Epiphanie (Hommage), 1961.
Oil, oil chalks and paper collage on canvas
€ 50,000 - 70,000

$ 60,000 - 84,000

Lot description
James Joyce Epiphanie (Hommage). 1961.
Oil, oil chalks and paper collage on canvas.
Hoehme 61-19. Lower right signed and dated. Verso signed, dated, titled and inscribed with a direction arrow. 99 x 80 cm (38.9 x 31.4 in).

• Outstanding work from the artist's best period.
• The scriptural code's gestural freedom shows clear parallels to Cy Twombly's contemporaneous creation
• Remarkable document of Hoehme's early quest for the delimitation of the image space.
• In 1959 the artist participated in documenta I.
• Comparable works are at, among others, the Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Sprengel Museum, Hanover and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

PROVENANCE: Private collection Krefeld.
Galerie Gunzenhauser, Munich.
Collection Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt a. M. (acquired from aforementioned).

EXHIBITION: Gegenwart bis 1962, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, cat. no. 60, with illu.
Gerhard Hoehme 1950-1961, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 1962, cat. no. 33, with illu.
Krefelder Privatsammlungen nach 1945, Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld 1964 (with a label on the stretcher).
Gerhard Hoehme, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, cat. no. 39, with a black-and-white illu.

LITERATURE: Gerhard Hoehme, Städtische Kunstgalerie, Bochum 1964, with a black-and-white illu.
Gerhard Hoehme. Bilder, Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf und Kunstverein Heidelberg, Stuttgart/Zürich 1979, with a black-and-white illu. on p. 8.
"How I envy the cave painter's carefreeness, his autonomy from surface and the ever confining format!"
Gerhard Hoehme, 1957, quote after: G. Hoehme. Catalogue Raisonné, p. 506.

Called up: June 18, 2021 - ca. 17.58 h +/- 20 min.

Based on informal beginnings in the 1950s, Hoehme developed an extremely versatile work in the coming decades, which is the result of a constant artistic struggle to remove the boundaries of painting from the surface. As early as in 1957 Hoehme commented on this strong desire as follows: "I have always reluctantly followed the laws of the surface. [..] I longed for the wide space, the third, fourth, fifth - upwards, to the side, to the front, yes even to the back, but without illusionist depth. One day I no longer stretched the canvas over the squared stretcher, but went the opposite way: with a large piece of canvas I had the field on which the events were to take place should. [..] "(quote from: G. Hoehme. Catalog Raisonné, p. 506). Like an "Ecriture automatique", an artistic gesture largely uncensored by the human mind, sketchy elements and fragments of notes lie like a curtain of scriptural ciphers over the pictorial background in the lyrical composition "James Joyce Epiphany". Encrusted layers of oil paint in earthy tones form the basis of the finely layered tangle of scatched lines and notes in black and red oil pastel, which spread out over the surface like a cave painting. The Irish writer James Joyce adopted the term "epiphany", which, in its original religious context describes the immediate revelation of divine power, as a literary stylistic device in his novel "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" (1914/15). In Joyce's work, the term "epiphany" loses its religious meaning but not the inherent metaphysical momentum of an inspiration that eludes the criteria of the human mind. With regards to his self-referential considerations, Hoehme must have recognized himself in Joyce's idea of the artist, according to which it is the artist's task to register this moment and the sensation of the epiphany and to use his special imagination to create an aesthetic image of it. Ultimately, Hoehme addresses the central question of the spiritual foundation of the artistic act of creation, of inspiration and the genesis of the artistic idea in "James Joyce Epiphany". A question that has long been important subject of theoretical considerations of numerous artists since the early modern era. Due to its self-referential subject, the present work is an outstanding example from Hoehle's small group of works of the “Sprachbilder“. In addition, the free graphic gesture, which in "James Joyce Epiphany" has freed itself from any sort of legibility and rhythm (cf. ZU, 1960, Nationalgalerie Berlin) shows clear parallels to the contemporary creations of Cy Twombly. In the course of the joint exhibition of Rauschenberg‘s and Twombly's work at Galerie 22 in Düsseldorf (1960) Hoehme met Twombly who would inspire his the development of Hoehme's scriptural work. However, the stylistic closeness of the two artists was short-lived: in search of a maximum delimitation of the picture, Hoehme soon turned to pattern sheets and string pictures, overcoming traditional limitations by incorporating unusual materials like long PVC strings that expand the canvas into the room. The artist left behind a decidedly versatile oeuvre characterized by a unconditional desire for delimitation. [JS]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Gerhard Hoehme "James Joyce Epiphanie (Hommage)"
This lot can only be purchased subject to regular taxation.

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

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% plus statutory sales tax.