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Sale: 392 / Modern Art, June 09. 2012 in Munich Lot 24

Gabriele Münter - Abend am See

Lot description
Abend am See. 1916.
Oil on canvas.
Estate no. L 339. Signed and dated lower left. Inscribed "Abend am See 131 Landschaft" on verso and with estate stamp. There also with inscription "L. 339" in chalk, once more with stamped number "L. 339" as well as with number "213" on another adhesive label (partly covered by stretcher). 40,6 x 52,1 cm (15,9 x 20,5 in).

Accompanied by a written expertise issued by the Gabriele Münter- and Johannes Eichner-Foundation, Munich, dated 7 April, 2011. The work will be included into the catalog raisonné of paintings by Gabriele Münter.

PROVENANCE: Gabriele Münter- and Johannes Eichner-Foundation, Munich.
Private collection USA, acquired around 1970.

Gabriele Münter received her first art lessons at the 'Damen-Kunstschule' (Ladies Art School) in Düsseldorf and then attended the Society of Woman Artists as M. Dasio's and A. Jank's pupil. Then she went to Munich where she visited the private art school 'Phalanx' which was run by Wassily Kandinsky. In 1904 Münter and Kandinsky began travelling together: to Holland, Italy, France - where they met Rousseau and Matisse - and elsewhere. Stylistically she now distanced herself from Impressionism and her works began showing Fauve and Expressionist influences. In 1908 she and Kandinsky began leading a calmer life in their apartment in Munich. They often met with Klee, Marc, Macke, Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin. The country house Münter bought in Murnau provided an ideal working environment. In 1909 the artist began painting glass, a medium which would later also be adopted by Kandinsky, Marc, Macke and Campendonk. Münter was a member of the 'Neue Künstlervereinigung München' for two years and in 1911 she joined the 'Blaue Reiter', the artist group founded by Kandinsky and Marc. She was interested in Kandinsky's development towards abstract art, but her own works continued to be figurative. Her landscapes, figurative scenes and portraits show a reduction to the essential with an inclination towards humorous characterization. When war broke out, Münter and Kandinsky at first moved to Switzerland. Münter, however, decided a year later to go to Stockholm, where she separated from Kandinsky.

An atmosphere of a fairy tale, as it is emanated by this painting, is rather rare in Gabriele Münter‘s oeuvre. In this work she renders a generous park scene that calls reminiscence of Art Nouveau works due to the quiet solemnity. With the lonely grazing horse in the foreground and the park landscape’s somewhat ceremonial sternness, one feels as if observing a work by Ludwig von Hofmann. However, Münter shows a great deal of artistic experience that adds more weight to the landscape. The classic arrangement of the image levels, to which Münter strictly complies, the large color fields and a strictness of forms mark a pictorial concept that goes far beyond the decorative symbolism of late Art Nouveau. The energetic stroke of the brush enlivens the color fields and her own sense of color underlines a validity of expression that we are used to from her best works.

In late autumn 1917 she moved to Copenhagen. She travelled a lot during the 1920s and spent some time in Munich, Murnau, Cologne and Berlin. After 1931 she spent most of her time in Murnau and Munich. In 1956 she received the Culture Prize of the City of Munich. The year 1960 saw the first exhibition of Münter's work in the US, followed in 1961 by a large show in the Mannheim Kunsthalle. The artist died in her house at Murnau on 19 May 1962. [KD].

Gabriele Münter
Abend am See, 1916.
Oil on canvas
€ 220,000 / $ 253,000
€ 414,800 / $ 477.019

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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