AMSTERDAM.- On Wednesday 3 December 2008 at 2pm, Sothebys Amsterdam will offer Modern & Contemporary Art, featuring highlights by international artists from the 20th century.
The German Expressionist Karl Schmidt-Rottluff is represented with Weg in Ascona. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff was one of the founders of Die Brücke (1905-1913). During the Third Reich period he had the status of Degenerated Artist and was not allowed the paint. As soon as WW2 was finished, he soon recovered his productivity, became professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Berlin and received the highest German order "Pour le Mérite" in 1956. Weg in Ascona was painted in this productive Post-War period and is a perfect example of the matured style of Schmidt-Rottluff's work. In 1949 he took a trip down to Ascona, where the Southern Swiss region led to a renewed inspiration for landscape painting. Bold colour-fields in both tone and shape play with the classic rules of depth and balance. A strong dynamic movement draws the viewer into the painting. Distant silhouettes of tree trunks and houses add a sense of angst and foreboding, reflecting the recent past. Yet the bright yellow foreground and the pale aura of the sun, predict a more hopeful future. The way these two fields interact formally and together frame the work, is a beautiful example of the formal command Schmidt-Rottluff has over his paintings and subject matter (estimate 120.000-150.000).
The sale offers works by Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel and Kees Maks. A Garden Scène by Maks was painted in 1910, when Maks had returned to Amsterdam after visiting Paris Madrid and Rome. It is an attractive scene of elegant ladies and gentleman seated in a sunny garden. Maks' preoccupation with the effect of the sunlight scattering through the leaves on his subjects, the table and the surrounding garden, shows the influence of French impressionism which he must have seen in Paris (120.000-150.000).
Zittende Visser (Seated Fisherman) by Constant Permeke is a monumental charcoal drawing from 1921. Permeke was the leading figure of Flemish Expressionism. In the present drawing he expresses the toughness, power and fundamental greatness of the fishermen. The very dark tonality enhances the feeling of hard times. In just a few lines, the figure comes forward in what is milieu of the fisherman's life. This serene position is completed by the white background of the paper. Permeke's art characteristically displays sympathy with the harshness of a fishermen's life and a great affinity with the sea (estimate 100.000-150.000).
The important Helga und Walther Lauffs Collection comprises American and European art from the 1960s and 1970s, The Collection had been on loan in the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld, Germany, for many years and is sold at Sothebys in various locations in 2008. On offer from the Lauffs Collection in this Amsterdam sale are sculptures by Dieter Roth and paintings by A.R. Penck, Standart Problem Technik and Standart Ur End (estimated 70.000-90.000 each). Also three books by Penck are part of the sale (Gleichförmig, Standard Nr 7, 15.000-20.000).
Impressive is a large untitled painting by Albert Oehlen (1954). Oehlen was part of the famous German movement of the Junge (Neue) Wilde, the group of painters who successfully redefined the medium of painting after it seemed to be almost displaced by Minimal and Conceptual Art in the 1980s. In the winter of 1986/87 Oehlen spent several months in the Austrian city of Graz working intensively on a new series of new paintings. The present painting gives an impressive sight of Oehlen´s art of this period, combining abstract and figurative elements in a complex and expressive manner of layering. He would follow his new idea of postungegenständliche" (post-non-figurative) art throughout the next decade (120 by 194, estimate 85,000-125,000).
Monumental is La Muse Vénale by the Dutch expressionist René Daniels, dating from 1979. The oil on canvas of 190 by 2.40cm is estimated 80.000-120.000.
Pierre Alechinsky is represented with Rêve Eveille from 1969, acquired directly from the artist by the present owner (50.000-70.000).
The sale comprises nine Works by Sol LeWitt, including the first design for the drawing on the wall of Museum Kröller-Müller and a gouache from 1996. Also of interest are works by Carl Andre, Cy Twombly, a portfolio of works on paper by Edward Ruscha, the triptych Monochrome und Feuer by Yves Klein and Feuerblume by Otto Piene from 1965.
The section of Graffiti Art is highlighted by a work by Blade (estimate 12.000-15.000) and Quiks Talking Heads from 1983 (spray-paint on canvas, 185 x 290cm, estimate 20.000-30.000). The Graffiti movement evolved in the late 1960s at the time of Martin Luther Kings famous march and his violent death in 1968. Young artists started to place their tags (autographs) on trains of the New York transit system. The exteriors of trains offered new opportunities: space and internal communication. The more surfaces the artist covered, the more respect he won. Other artists became the most knowing judges and the most avid competitors. From 1972 on, graffiti was strictly forbidden and had to done by night. The graffiti artists worked at a frenzied pace, since the trains had to be up and running before dawn. The artists therefore started to make preparatory drawings of their designs and made photographs of the trains. Around 1980 they began to work on canvas, so their art could travel further that the train distance. This facilitated them to work undisturbed in their studios.
A group of minimalist works from a private collection includes works by Jan Schoonhoven and François Morellet. A steel and white painted wood panel by Jesus Soto, Carré et rectangle from 1968 is estimated 20.000-30.000.
The sale also offers a small selection of photographic works by pan-European artists such as Desiree Dolron, Candida Höfer and Sarah Lucas.