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Sale: 406 / Modern Art, June 08. 2013  
Lot: 40  
Münter, Gabriele 
Bergwiese, 1910. 
Result (incl. 22% surcharge): 323,300 EUR / 423,523 $
Estimate: 140,000 EUR / 183,400 $  
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Gabriele Münter


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Gabriele Münter - Bergwiese  
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Lot: 40
Gabriele Münter
1877 Berlin - 1962 Murnau
Bergwiese. 1910.
Oil on cardboard laid on board.
With estate stamp on rear and an adhesive label carrying the partly hand-written and partly stamped number L 216. Dated and inscribed on verso, presumably by a hand other than that of the artist. 32,5 x 40,7 cm (12,7 x 16 in).

PROVENANCE: Galerie Grosshennig, Düsseldorf.
Private collection Northern Germany.

EXHIBITION: Ausstellung ausgewählter deutscher und französischer Kunstwerke des 20. Jahrhunderts. Galerie Grosshennig, Düsseldorf, 20 October, 1976 till late February 1977, cat. no. 41 (with illu. in colors).

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.

After occasional painting stints, Murnau and the Alpine foothills became the artist's permanent place of residence. Acquired by Gabriele Münter in 1909, the house was the place where the artist found inspiration on the banks of the Staffelsee and the Alps on the horizon for motifs that helped her to overcome a late Impressionist style and find her very own way. The loose style of painting testifies to the sovereignty in dealing with the technique. Münter pays attention to the lighting conditions, which also add a very own character to this lower Alps landscape. The composition is dominated by a few colors that Münter applies to the surface with broad strokes of the brush, in contrast to the few fixed points that make the landscape even more striking. The balanced composition gives the subject that very silence that a hiker in that region can still experience today.

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 characterisation. 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. 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]

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