Sale: 535 / Evening Sale with Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Dec. 09. 2022 in Munich Lot 64


Karin Kneffel
Ohne Titel, 2016.
Oil on canvas
€ 180,000 - 220,000

$ 178,200 - 217,800

Ohne Titel. 2016.
Oil on canvas.
Signed and dated on the reverse and inscribed "2016/6". Inscribed with the dimensions on the stretcher. 180 x 300 cm (70.8 x 118.1 in).

• On the cover of the exhibition catalog and one of the main works in the solo show "Karin Kneffel. Im Bild" at the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel am See (until October 3, 2022).
• The to date largest work by the artist on the German auction market (
• Reconstruction of the Collection Hermann Lange, Krefeld (1874–1942).
• Kneffel creates a novel and complex painting by means of a contemporary pictorial language, references to architecture and masterpieces of the 20th century, as well as with the help of an own narrative level

Mentioned on the artist's official website.

We are grateful to Prof. Karin Kneffel for her kind support in cataloging this lot.

PROVENANCE: Gagosian Gallery, New York (with the gallery label on the stretcher).
Private collection Rhineland (acquired from the above in 2017).

EXHIBITION: Karin Kneffel. New Works, April 28 - June 11, 2016, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills / Los Angeles.
Karin Kneffel. Still, Kunsthalle Bremen, June 22 - September 29, 2019, Bremen, Museum Frieder Burda, October 12 - March 8, 2020, Baden-Baden, pp. 154f. (with double-page illu.).
Karin Kneffel. Im Bild, Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See, May 29 - October 3, 2022, pp. 22f. (on the cover and with double-page illu.).

Called up: December 9, 2022 - ca. 19.06 h +/- 20 min.

A look into the past: Kneffel's preoccupation with the collector Hermann Lange and the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
As early as in 2009, the director of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld invited the artist to stage an exhibition at the Museum Haus Esters. The works in the exhibition should reference both the building itself, as well as its architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969). Accordingly, Karin Kneffel first began to investigate in the architecture and the interior of Haus Esters, but she would continue to work on the project even after the exhibition "Haus am Stadtrand" (2009/2010): In addition to Haus Esters, the artist also started to explore other buildings by Mies van der Rohe, such as the neighboring Haus Lange. Her research eventually produced photographs of the interior from the 1930s, which also documented the vast and impressive art collection of Hermann Lange (1874–1942), at that time owner of the building.

Karin Kneffel meets Modernism
Throughout his life as art collector and patron, Hermann Lange cultivated close ties with the contemporary art scene. Through the documents that have survived, and the photographs that were so crucial to Kneffel's work, it can be ascertained that the Langes owned about 300 paintings and sculptures, among them by Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Juan Gris, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, August Macke, Artistide Maillol, Franz Marc, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Renée Sintenis and Lesser Ury. In her large-size works, Karin Kneffel deals with both the ultra-modern residence by Mies van der Rohe, which the Langes moved into in 1930, and the artworks once presented in them. She composes glimpses into rooms with the masterpieces of a collection that no longer exists today, as it is scattered across the world and in possession of the most important museums and private collections. In a certain sense, Kneffel thus creates an image of the past that she skillfully distorts, transforms and develops with a very own narrative level and with great painterly finesse. In the present monumental work from 2016, the painter depicts the hall of Haus Lange, which - like some of the paintings and sculptures shown - can be found in a photograph of the house from 1930 (fig.). In the far right of the wall we see August Macke's painting "Große Promenade: Leute im Park" (Great Promenade: People in the Park) from 1914 (fig.), and to the left is Wilhelm Lehmbruck's "Torso eines jungen Weibes" (Torso of a Young Woman) from 1911 (fig.). In the left part of the room E. L. Kirchner's "Potsdamer Platz (Street Scene)" from 1914 (fig.) next to Oskar Kokoschka's "Sommer I" from 1922. The "Badednde” (Bather) and the "Torso, sich umwendend" "Torso, Turning" by Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1914) in the foreground of the painting are not visible on the historical photograph of the room, but were added to the composition by the artist.

Behind Glass

The complex large-format presentation, however, is far more than a transformation of a past art collection into the present. Through clever painterly means, the artist makes the observer of the present work believe to be looking into a private living space through a rainy window. Light falls through the window, it is refracted by the glass pane as well as by the water drops, and casts reflections and plays of light and shadow into the room, on the artworks, objects and people. With the 'trompe-l'œil' effect, the painter once again falls back on an artistic principle from art history that has enjoyed great popularity, especially since the 17th century. Just as painters confused viewers with extremely realistic insects in their fruit still lifes, Karin Kneffel's highly realistic water droplets address the process of seeing, the perception of a painting, and the boundary between reality and illusion.
In a resourceful and original way, she creates a meta-level between the image space and the space of the viewer, and draws a noticeable boundary to the voyeuristic viewers who stare into the private premises.

The Narrative Level. Merging the Imagined and the Real World.
In addition to the view into the past, the revival of a former art collection and the glass "meta-level" of the painting, Karin Kneffel creates a third level by enlivening the depicted space with some human figures. In addition to the Lehmbruck sculpture, our painting features a female figure with a cleaning bucket and sponge, watching a gentleman slip on a wet mopped floor like in a slapstick comedy. "Everything happens on one level, and you see everything at the same time. This in a way creates an imaginary level where I can merge presence and history. I try to display reality, at the same time I try to transform it in the artistic representation." (Karin Kneffel, studio talk with Spiegelberger Foundation,
With her complex, original and also tongue-in-cheek paintings and the translation processes between photography and painting contained therein, Karin Kneffel has found a playful approach to Realism. The work offered here is a masterpiece of her very characteristic fusion of the real and the imagined world. She combines art-historic traditions with her own innovative ideas and ultimately demonstrates both her great inventiveness as well as the transformation ability of painting. [CH]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Karin Kneffel "Ohne Titel"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

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.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.