Nagel Auktionen is set to hold their Modern and Contemporary Art auction on June 15. The catalogue is dominated by the exceptional collection of a member of the Family Freiherr von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, formerly Palais Grüneburg, featuring art works from Paul Jenkins, Marino Marini, Louis Soutter and so on. However, the main highlight of the auction comes from a consignment: a unique, yet unknown bronze cross by Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), estimated at 190.000 €.
The main highlight of the auction is a bronze cross by Joseph Beuys, the existence of which was unknown until now. It was purchased in the studio of Beuys’ teacher and mentor Ewald Mataré (1887-1965), where the consignor, a German gentleman of now 85 years, once went with his father to purchase one of Mataré’s works when he was a young man. Mataré was so raving about the work of his student, that they decided to buy one of his works, this bronze cross.
For many years the cross, almost forgotten, decorated his father’s and later his own home until about 25 years ago, when the consignor saw a suspiciously similar wooden Beuys cross in the press, remembered the story and realized its valence.
The visit of the consignor and his father is also mentioned in Mataré’s diary.
Beuys was interested in Catholic imagery especially between 1947 and 1960. Theologist and art expert Friedhelm Menneskes says that Beuys’s art works inspired by religion indicate a spiritual self-searching the artist went through. Menneskes argues that the Jesus on the cross figure symbolizes a person in agony.
Another noteworthy highlight is a work by Louis Soutter coming under the hammer at a minimum of 40.000 € from the excellent collection of a member of the Family Freiherr von Goldschmidt-Rothschild, formerly in the Palais Grüneburg, Frankfurt on the Main. This painting was created while Louis Soutter was ill. He suddenly started suffering from an eye condition that strongly affected his eyesight, and a sclerosis that took away the mobility of his fingers. Thus he had to give up his meticulous detailed work of lines and hatchings. Soutter made into an opportunity what would normally mean the end of an artist’s career, and renewed his artistic style fundamentally. He started painting with the movement of the elbow to the wrist, rather than fingers. He strengthened the expression in his paintings by letting shapes emerge from this gesture. He created almost moving black silhouettes that had a mythical side to them, emphasizing the entanglement of reality and phantasmagoria.
In 1942, Louis Soutter died alone in a nursing home, in which he had been admitted at the age of 52 years by his family. His oeuvre at that time was almost completely unknown. 20 years later, some his works and his talent came to light again and was presented at the Museum of Lausanne. Even today, his work raises many questions and leads to considerable controversy.
Further examples from the same collection is a stunning work by Paul Jenkins (1923-2012) to be called up at 7.000 €.
Born in Kansas City in 1923 Paul Jenkins studied 1937-1942 at the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1948 he moved to New York where he met artists like Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Bernett Newman. In 1951 he created the first work with diluted extending paint, which became his signature.
One of the exponents of Abstract Expressionism, Paul Jenkins calls his pictures “Phenomena” and is fascinated by “an adherence of the ever-changing reality both in the act of painting as well as the final result” and he adds “I am attracted to this reality, not because it seems to express the world with their accidents and hazards, but because it brings me closer to the miracle. ”
He once said about the Phenomena series “Phenomena is a plural. It is always yes to an ensemble of phenomena, in which one can distinguish individual events that play together.”
The artworks by Paul Jenkins are exhibited in many prominent museums such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Paris Pompidou Centre, London Tate Gallery and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam among many others. In 1964, his works were shown at the famous Documenta III in Kassel.
About 700 objects will go under the hammer on June 15 and will be on display in Stuttgart during Nagel Auctions’ visiting days from June, 10th to 13th.
See all the lots here.
Photos courtesy of the Nagel website.