Sale: 525 / Evening Sale, Dec. 10. 2021 in Munich Lot 249


Paul Klee
Landschaft B. L., 1931.
Watercolor (dissolved with egg) over chalks pri...
€ 100,000 - 150,000

$ 116,000 - 174,000

Landschaft B. L. 1931.
Watercolor (dissolved with egg) over chalks priming on paper, on board.
Klee 5575. Upper left barely legibly signed. 21 x 33.5 cm (8.2 x 13.1 in).
Richard Doetsch-Benziger presumably acquired this sheet as member of the Klee Society. From a certain annual fee on, members had the opportunity to acquire works from the artist's studio at special conditions.
• Enchanting landscape with a pictorial effect.
• Characterized by an exceptional radiance.
• Expressive composition with metaphysical-dreamy narrative level.
• Ever since it was made it has featured in many international exhibitions

PROVENANCE: Collection Richard Doetsch-Benziger, Basel (presumably from 1933 to 1958, board with hand-inscribed collector's label).
Estate Richard Doetsch-Benziger, Basel (1958-1960).
Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett, Roman Norbert Ketterer, Stuttgart (May 20, 1960; on commission)
Galerie Roman Norbert Ketterer, Campione d'Italia (1966).
Galleria Narciso, Torino (1979).
Private collection Turin (1989).
Private collection Italy (acquired from the above).

EXHIBITION: Moderne deutsche Malerei aus Privatbesitz, Kunsthalle Basel, October 7 - 29, 1933, cat. no. 101.
Paul Klee. Tafelbilder und Aquarelle aus Privatbesitz, Galerie d'Art Moderne Marie-Suzanne Feigel, Basel, September and October 1949, cat. no. 38.
Collection Richard Doetsch-Benziger. Malerei, Zeichnung und Plastik, Kunstmuseum Basel, June 9 - July 8, 1956, cat. no. 188 (with illu.).
L'Occhio del collezionista oltr'Alpe, Galleria d'Arte Narciso, Turin, January 25 - February 28, 1979, cat. no. 22 (with illu.).
Florence Henri. Aspetti di un percorso 1910-1940, Banco di Chiavari e della Riviera Ligure, Genova, April 23 - May 23, 1979, cat. no. 97, color illu. no p.
Garten der Lüste - Zwei zeitgenössische Maler und einige ihrer Vorlaufer. Baruchello, Fahlstrom, Wols, Klee, Duchamp, Museo d'Arte Moderna, Bolzano, 1998, cat no. 7 (with color illu.).

LITERATURE: Margrit Bosshard-Rebmann, Paul Klee. Collection Richard Doetsch-Benziger, Basel 1953, cat. no. 51.
Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett, Stuttgart, 35th auction, Modern Art, 1st part, May 20, 1960, lot no. 292 (with full-page color illu., plate 48, with a label on the reverse).
R. N. Ketterer, Moderne Kunst III, Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Campione d'Italia 1966, cat. no. 107 (with color illu.).
Only for comparison! Only in a sense of flexibility. And not in the sense of a scientific check for a true-to-life depiction! Only in the sense of freedom! In the sense of a liberty [.] that merely asks to be just as flexible as nature."
Paul Klee, Über die Moderne Kunst, Jena 1924.

Called up: December 10, 2021 - ca. 19.08 h +/- 20 min.

On April 1, 1931, Paul Klee canceled his contract with the Bauhaus in Dessau and accepted an call to the State Art Academy in Düsseldorf. The then director of the academy, Walter Kaesbach, was very interested in winning the artist's personality over for his students and the city's art scene in general.
During his ten years at the Bauhaus, Klee was a teacher highly valued by everyone . He developed and taught his theory of form and composition. Motion, rhythm, color, construction and nature were important to him. He noted his lectures on over 3000 pages; today they are accessible in the online database of the Paul Klee Foundation. Much of what appears playful and dreamy in his works is a consciously placed composition of defined elements.
"Even if not everyone in Düsseldorf is a genius, as it was the case in Dessau", Klee wrote to his wife Lily on November 21, 1931, "you can still feel an artistic saturation that makes me feel at home. Even conservative spirits grapple with progress, some of them are more honest than the modernists and therefore more interesting."
From October on he began teaching painting technique. In addition to a studio at the academy, he rented a room in Düsseldorf while still keeping the Dessau apartment. In March 1933, soon after Hitler had come to power, his Dessau residence was raided; in April Klee was furloughed from teaching, in autumn he was dismissed. At his wife‘s urging he moved to Switzerland in December.
No other period in Klee's oeuvre shows a comparable heterogeneity in terms of artistic expression as it is the case with works made between 1931 and 1933. This surely has to do with external circumstances, because Klee cultivated a different style in each of the two locations he alternately stayed: In Düsseldorf he worked intensively on pictures with a pointillist application of the paint. Starting in 1931, Klee reduced the size of the squares to a grid-like dot system based on the square pictures developed at the Bauhaus in the 1920s. He referred to this divisionist application of the paint as “so-called pointilizing”. In Weimar, on the other hand, Klee cultivated the rather 'small' format and indulged in his pictorial fantasies.
His theory of form and composition showed a corresponding development: He distinguished between dividable forms and individual, indivisible forms. Things can be added or removed from the first without changing the whole; the second, the individual one, cannot be changed per se. In his Gestalt Theory, Klee explains this question in detail with regard to the representation of movement and space. This was how a number of singular works came into existence, among them our colorful, freely executed "Landschaft B. L." And this is the only way the juxtaposition of square images and works like ours can be understood. Linear definitions of the depicted image can also be found in, among oters, the two sheets “Aufblühende Pflanze” and “Teich” from the same year.
Following the year date Klee used to number his works, this landscape may have been made in the middle of the year, perhaps on a trip to the south. In 1931 he visited Sicily, roaming the island, looking for scenic beauty and sites that naturally combine ancient, Norman and Saracen elements, often over centuries, and encourage the artist to pursue this surreal vision: B and L, inscribed in two white areas with a black border, put in the composition prominent like a monogram! After all, they are surrounded by symbols for trees and plants, lined areas of sun-scorched landscape, bathed in blue sea water, exhaling the Odysseyan antiquity. [EH / MvL]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Paul Klee "Landschaft B. L."
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 500,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 500,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 500,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 2,500,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 2,500,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 500,000 €: herefrom 25 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 500,000 € is subject to a premium of 20% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 500,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 2,500,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 2,500,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

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

Resale right apportionment:
In accordance with §26 of German Copyright Act, a droit de suite charge of 2.4% including VAT is levied for original artworks and photographs for the compensation of the statutory right of resale.