Sale: 502 / Modern Art II, July 18. 2020 in Munich Lot 314

 
314
Hermann Max Pechstein
Selbstbildnis, 1930.
Oil on canvas, laid down on fiberboard by the a...
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 59,500
Sold:
€ 131,250 / $ 156.187

(incl. 25% surcharge)
Lot description
Selbstbildnis. 1930.
Oil on canvas, laid down on fiberboard by the artist and relined with canvas.
Soika 1930/27. Monogrammed (in ligature) and dated lower left. Verso signed, titled and inscribed "HM Pechstein [in ligature] Berlin Grunewald Hubertus Allee 181 -Selbstbildniß- [sic!]". 100.3 x 80.5 cm (39.4 x 31.6 in).
Between 1945 and 1951 Pechstein had his studio on Hubertus-Allee. It can be assumed that Pechstein executed the relining during this time.
• One of just a few self-portraits in private ownership
• Strong energetic expression of the artist's personality
• Other self-portriats are in possession of, among others, the Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich and the State Museums Berlin
.

PROVENANCE: Artist's estate.
Private collection Hamburg (directly from artist, until 2005).
Private collection Hamburg (from 2005).

EXHIBITION: Max Pechstein, Städtisches Museum Zwickau, July-August 1947, no. 87.
Neue Gruppe, Haus der Kunst München, 1958, no. 1354, illu. p. 371.
Max Pechstein. India ink drawings and watercolors (and paintings) 1923-1955, Kunstamt Berlin-Charlottenburg, 17 September - 8 October, 1960 / Kunstverein Wolfsburg, October 1960, no. 67.
Berliner Bildnisse aus drei Jahrhunderten, Städtische Galerie München, 1 June -1 July 1962, no. 74, b/w illu.

Essay
Max Pechstein's artistic talent was discovered and encouraged at a very early age. His conventional career, first as an apprentice with a Zwickau painting master, then at the Dresden Kunstgewerbeschule and finally at the Dresden Akademie under the decorative painter Otto Gußmann, provided Pechstein with a sound craftsmanship. His ceiling painting at the Dresden Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1906, with such an unconventional color scheme that the organisers had it sprayed with grey paint to soften the colors, attracted Erich Heckel's attention. He then invited Pechstein to join the artist group 'Die Brücke' which had been founded the year before in opposition to Impressionism. The group's aim was to "attract all revolutionary and restless forces" (Schmidt-Rottluff) and an emphasis of the power of color in painting. In this environment Pechstein's Expressionist style developed further, concentrating on elaborating the focal point of the painting with a sparse painting technique. Pechstein moved to Berlin in 1908 and became a co-founder of the 'Neue Sezession'. He painted figures, still lifes and landscapes in a moderately Expressionist style. Perhaps it was this, which lead to the artist's early and continuing success.
The examination of the self is and has always been one of the greatest challenges for every visual artist. In doing so the artist faces the difficult task of analyzing the unknown ego. Famous self portraits by Rembrandt can be mentioned as examples of a genre that tells a lot about the range of expression of a painter's oeuvre. Max Pechstein created a number of self portraits throughout his life as an artist, however, he was never really as obsessed with the theme as others before him were. This self-portrait, however, reveals something about the tension that Pechstein felt when interpreting what he saw. The unusual posture alone indicates that it was about more to Pechstein than to simply render a mirrored image of himself. This is not the complacent self image of a successful painter. This is a man with a quest, one who explores beneath the surface. To him painting is not an aesthetic pastime, to him it is about capturing the essence of his personality- both positive and negative sides. Even his beloved pipe that Pechstein usually smokes with great pleasure in his other self portraits, seems to be forgotten because of the tension. Only the hand resting on his knee makes for a calm element in this dynamic diagonal composition, which shows traces of all earlier features, however, without making them this work's prime theme
From 1945 Pechstein taught at the 'Berlin Akademie der Künste' (Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin). Before that time, during the Third Reich, he was slandered as a "degenerate" artist. Apart from paintings his oeuvre includes more than 850 woodcuts, lithographs and engravings. [KD].
314
Hermann Max Pechstein
Selbstbildnis, 1930.
Oil on canvas, laid down on fiberboard by the a...
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 59,500
Sold:
€ 131,250 / $ 156.187

(incl. 25% surcharge)