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Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012  
Lot: 53  
Campendonk, Heinrich 
Zwei Pferde, 1913. 
Result (incl. 22% surcharge): 536,800 EUR / 703,208 $
Estimate: 200,000 EUR / 262,000 $  
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Heinrich Campendonk


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Heinrich Campendonk - Zwei Pferde  
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Lot: 53
Heinrich Campendonk
1889 Krefeld - 1957 Amsterdam
Zwei Pferde. Um 1913.
Oil on canvas.
Firmenich 398G, there described as gouache on paper. 75 x 60,2 cm (29,5 x 23,7 in).
In the course of creating the catalog raisonné, the author, Andrea Firmenich, realized that "many works were documented only through photographs or references in letters.. Accordingly, it was hard to decide whether it was, for instance, a work in oil or in tempera." (A.Firmenich, Heinrich Campendonk - Leben und expressionistisches Werk, 1989, pp.220 ff - intzroduction). This was also true for this work.

PROVENANCE: Collection Georg Tappert (up to ca. 1978).
Private ownership Northern Germany.

After his studies at the School of Arts and Crafts in Krefeld under the Dutch artist Johan-Thorn Prikker, Heinrich Campendonk accepted an invitation to Sindelsdorf in Bavaria by Franz Marc and settled there in 1911. Already at that time he found the basic subject of his works: the depiction of harmony of man and beast, Creation, the circle of life. Beside paintings, watercolors, gouaches and first woodcuts came into existence. In Sindelsdorf he got acquainted with the members of the artist group 'Blauer Reiter' and participated in exhibitions their that very same year. Together with this group of artists he also exhibited at the 'Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon' of the 'Sturm', led by Herwarth Walden in Berlin, two years later.

All influences that inspired Heinrich Campendonk to this composition can hardly be enumerated. The closeness to Franz Marc is very clear, as aforementioned, Campendonk moved to Sindelsdorf in Upper Bavaria in 1911 after he had been encouraged to do so by Franz Marc. Campendonk‘s style around this time is dominated by a kind of Cubism that consists of a separation of the image’s surface into cubist forms of an almost monochrome color effect. The modularly arranged image contents are in a lose compository connection. Narrative components and a dominant style that would add special coherence to the composition were avoided. Campendonk rather placed things side by side than connecting them with one another. He embedded them in a mesh of seemingly constructive forms, which, however, in their artistic conception contradict their actual formal will. Hovering between abstraction and figuration, this harmonious composition cannot be interpreted neither one nor the other way. Therefore it should be fathomed in its entirety.

In 1916 Campendonk moved to Seeshaupt at the Starnberger See, from where he traveled extensively. His painting is now formed by softly flowing forms, large areas of intensive light and a lyrical, often fairytale-like mood. Behind glass paintings were also created. In 1926 the artist was appointed professor at the Düsseldorf Academy. Campendonk gained artistic recognition since the mid-1920s particularly through doing windows of churches and public buildings (the Landtag and Paulskirche in Duesseldorf, Essener Münster et al.). When he was dismissed from his teaching profession in 1933, he emigrated to Belgium, where he lived in Ostende for the time being, before he accepted a teaching post at the Rijksakademie van beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam in 1935. Campendock did not return to Germany at the end of world war II. He continued his teaching profession and got several orders for glass windows in the Netherlands and in Germany. In 1956 he was awarded the Quellinus-Prize of the city of Amsterdam and was dubbed a knight of the order De Neederlandse Leeuw. Campendonk died in Amsterdam in 1957. [KD].

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