Man Ray, estimate €140,000 - 180,000; Franz West, estimate €25,000 - 45,000; Hermann Max Pechstein, estimate €180,000 - 250,000; Andy Warhol, estimate €280,000 - 420,000
No matter who the artist is, Klimt, Walde, West, Warhol or Dubuffet: Contemporary Week at Dorotheum showcases quality on an international scale.
Contemporary Art | Part I: 5 June, Part II: 6 June 2019
He turned stars into gods – and was one himself: Andy Warhol. He told people just to look at the surface of his images, saying that there was nothing behind it and that the viewers themselves had to come up with the metaphysical aspects. However, using car crashes or the electric chair as the subject of his images meant that nevertheless involved him passing comment. The same can be said of his images of Marilyn, reproduced on a massive scale, with the tragic diva now depicted with a permanent smile, like a mask. The image by the Pop art artist up for auction at Dorotheum on 5 June depicts a series showing copies of photos featuring Judy Garland and Liza Minelli, as if tacked up on a pin board. All 13 photos are contrived and staged. Both women, mother and daughter alike, were child stars and shot to global stardom at a young age – with all its unwelcome side-effects. Warhol’s image was created in 1978, during a period when he and his good friend Liza Minelli were frequent visitors to New York’s legendary Studio 54.
There are a total of three variants of this image, in different colour-ways. This one will go under the hammer with an estimate of 280,000-420,000 euros.
Warhol’s Marilyn turned an icon of the 20th century into an icon of the art world. In 1981, Franz West put two Warhol-style postcards of Marilyn and an edited photo of Heike Curtze, Ursula Krinzinger and Grita Insam (all gallery owners from Vienna) into an amorphous Franz West frame, shaped from plaster. The title of the work? Suchtgiftabhängiger (Drug Addict) (€25,000 – 45,000). His 1974 work Visuelle Analyse also sees him juxtapose depictions of major players in Vienna’s cultural scene with photos of mass-produced items. According to Eva Badura-Triska, West broaches the issue of the social role played by the people who create culture, and their roles as stars or outsiders in society. The collage is expected to reach between 25,000 and 45,000 euros.
Early cave paintings, graffiti, children's scribbles or works by the mentally ill – all these elements fascinate Jean Dubuffet and impact his style. His works are akin to an archaeological investigation of the human soul. Known as the ‘father’ of the influential ‘art brut’ movement of raw, direct, ‘primal’ art, three works by Dubuffet will be up for sale at Dorotheum’s auction. In Paysage avec personnage (Landscape with Figure), stylistic figures are inscribed into the landscape, bringing the earth and its inhabitants together as one (€300,000 – 400,000). Tête (Head) is boiled down to its most essential components and yet remains universal, while Buisson au papillon, featuring offset leaves and pieces of other organic materials, falls within Dubuffet’s ‘Matériologies’ series.
The refined, colourful grid paintings by Piero Dorazio evoke images of rays of polychrome light and crystals. A 1957 work entitled Ivory Tower emphasises the verticality and horizontality of the composition, creating a net that reinvents the space. According to the auction catalogue, “the ivory tower points to isolation, the necessary condition for the creative act” (€ 180,000-260,000).
The round bronze sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro is inspired by the shape of a desert rose. According to the artist, this object with a 60cm diameter aims to enact a “dialectic process between infinite spatiality and organic structure” (€200,000 – 300,000).
Hans Hartung was a prominent exponent of Art Informel, and put the act of painting at the heart of his works, which focus on the essential elements. Testament to the work of the artists of the ZERO group in this auction are pieces by Otto Piene, Günther Uecker’s strictly geometrical ‘Reihung’ from 1970 (€400,000 – 600,000), and Heinz Mack.
Further artists include: Hermann Nitsch, Arnulf Rainer, Heimo Zobernig, Ilya Kabakov, Alex Katz, Jonas Burgert, Fabio Mauri, Carla Accardi, Berlinde de Bruyckere and many more.
Modern Art | 4 June 2019
The loud colours of the Expressionists are no longer to be found in Hermann Max Pechstein’s Junges Mädchen am Meer (Young Girl by the Sea), a balanced composition of colours dating from 1923, but their spontaneous brushstrokes remain. Pechstein was a member of ‘Die Brücke’, and this painting, up for sale in the Modern Art auction on 4 June, reflects his desire for paradise and harmony with both nature and humans. During the Nazi period, Pechstein was considered a ‘degenerate’ artist. He married the model depicted in this painting, Marta Möller, in the same year that the piece was created (€180,000 – 250,000).
Out of control
In 1919, Man Ray arranged his ten collages in New York’s Daniel Gallery in the shape of a revolving door. Revolving Doors, the series of ‘pseudoscientific abstractions’, as Man Ray put it, prophetically played with kinetics and the relationship between humans and machines. The artist is known for his surrealist photographs and rayographs, and turned this series of collages into oil paintings in 1942. These images have whimsical titles such as Concrete Mixer, The Meeting and Dragonfly. The work entitled Long Distance is part of the Modern Art auction. He overlaps the shape of an airship with stripes of bright colours – a symbol of the boundless energy of the technological sphere and its endless expansion (€140,000 – 180,000).
There is hardly anyone who can produce a better depiction of snowy alpine landscapes than Alfons Walde, whose works are highly popular with collectors. One example of this is his Hof am Wilden Kaiser from 1935, which sees blue-tinged snow, buildings, people, and the mountains come together to create a suggestive whole (€250,000 – 380,000).
Further important works up for sale at this auction include pieces by Gustav Klimt, Carl Moll, Oskar Kokoschka, Lyonel Feininger, Giacomo Balla, Marino Marini, Paul Cézanne and many more.
Jewels | 5 June 2019
Wristwatches and Pocket Watches | 7 June 2019
The jewel auction on 5 June will see around 200 exquisite jewels from various eras and styles come under the hammer – a popular investment. There are some exceptional stones, including a brilliant solitaire ring with 6.69 ct brilliants (€40,000 – 60,000).
Classic wristwatches are on the agenda for the auction on 7 June: among the 200 or so luxury wristwatches and pocket watches, there is an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, a sporty stainless steel wristwatch with perpetual calendar, no. 9 from a limited edition (€20,000 – 30,000). Further brands include Rolex, Patek Philippe, Glashütte, Omega.