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Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012  
Lot: 54  
Münter, Gabriele 
Kirche an der Ramsach, 1935. 
Result (incl. 22% surcharge): 378,200 EUR / 495,442 $
Estimate: 150,000 EUR / 196,500 $  
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Gabriele Münter


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Gabriele Münter - Kirche an der Ramsach  
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Lot: 54
Gabriele Münter
1877 Berlin - 1962 Murnau
Kirche an der Ramsach. Um 1935.
Oil on canvas.
With estate stamp on verso of canvas. 43,5 x 52,3 cm (17,1 x 20,5 in).

PROVENANCE: David B. Findlay Galleries, New York (with gallery label on verso).
Galerie Gunzenhauer, München (with gallery label on verso),
there acquired from previous owner in 1975.
Private collection Northern Germany.

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 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.

Charming motifs, which the surroundings of the Staffelsee near Murnau offer, time and again inspired Gabriele Münter to particularly expressive landscape paintings. The small church near Ramsach, the “Ramsachkircherl“ near Murnau, called "s'Ähndl" in vernacular and its picturesque location are just perfect to illustrate the beauty of the foothills of the Alps. Münter renders an interpretation in sunset light. Broad shadows are cast over the landscape, only the sky above the small church is illuminated by a setting sun. It could be pure atmospheric painting, if Münter didn’t counter any upcoming sentiments with energetic contours. The incredibly differentiated palette with its shades of green and the self-contained style deliver remarkable proof of the artist‘s ability to interprete.

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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