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Sale: 386 / Modern Art, Dec. 10. 2011 in Munich Lot 52

Georg Kolbe - Auferstehung

Lot description
Bronze with black brown patina.
Berger 36. With monogram in ligature on rear of base as well as with foundry mark "Guss H Noack Berlin Friedenau". One of 11 casts made during the artist's lifetime, from the first edition from 1920/23, published by Galerie Cassirer. Ca. 77,2 x 17,5 x 21 cm (30,3 x 6,8 x 8,2 in).
Nice expressive cast. Rare.

Accompanied by an expertise by Dr. Ursel Berger, Georg-Kolbe-Museum, Berlin, dated 3 November, 2011.

PROVENANCE: Acquired from a private owner in Wroclaw in 1934.
Private collection USA (1937 after emigration).

EXHIBITION: According to Berger, copies of the plastic wereshown in following exhibitions in 1920, some simultaneously:
Freie Secession.
Dresdener Künstlervereinigung.
Breslauer Kunstausstellung.
Deutscher Künstlerbund, Chemnitz.
Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover.

Georg Kolbe, one of the most successful sculptors of his time, first studied painting in Dresden and Munich. The sculpture of Rodin, which he studied closely during a sojourn of half a year in Paris in 1897, and Louis Tuaillon awakened Kolbe's interest in sculpture. When Kolbe moved to Rome in 1898, Tuaillon, the most important Neo-Classicist sculptor played an important role. Kolbe's first portrait sculptures were made under Tuaillon's guidance. After six years during which he also traveled in Italy, France, Belgium and Holland, Kolbe decided to return to Germany and moved to Berlin. He continued collecting new ideas and impressions during frequent trips abroad. In 1913 the sculptor left the 'Berliner Sezession' which he had joined in 1905 to join the 'Freie Sezession'. At the outbreak of the war in 1914 he was sent to East Prussia and Poland as a volunteer. He remained in military service until 1918 when he was sent to the Black Forest as an infantryman. In the same year the Prussian Ministry of Cultural Affairs appointed him professor.

Plastics by Georg Kolbe made before World War I were largely devoid of aspects of symbolic meaning, however, later these aspects were integrated into a creation that also gained in formal expression. The self contained form, on which ‘Auferstehung‘ (Resurrection) is based, became a determining factor for Georg Kolbe at the beginning of the twenties. Particularly three standing female nudes, "Auferstehung", "Aufblickende" and the far larger "Assunta" embody this formal will in a unity of physical closeness that had by then been unprecedented. A certain formalism that Kolbe consciously pursued in order to increase the expression, was met with incomprehension by many of his contemporaries. Viewing patterns were still rooted in Georg Kolbe‘s works from before the war. The almost androgynous female figure promotes the concentration of the expression in a positive sense. The "noble simplicity" and "sedate grandeur" in a sense of Johann Joachim Winckelmann‘s enthusiam for ancient art gives us an idea of how much Georg Kolbe aspired to internalize this in his works.

Kolbe's early sculptures, simple, harmonious nudes influenced by Rodin, but also by Maillol, seek a harmony between the body and the soul. During the 1930s he turned towards a more heroic monumentality. In 1936 the 'Reichskulturkammer' accepted the 'Deutscher Künstlerbund', of which Kolbe was the chairman, as a member. Towards the end of the war the artist's house and studio were damaged so that he moved to Hiershagen in Silesia until the beginning of 1945. After his return to Berlin he underwent several eye operations, which were unsuccessful, however. In addition to this his cancer reoccurred and Kolbe died on 20 November 1947. Apart from his numerous portraits Kolbe , who was one of the first autonomous sculptors and thus no longer determined by his sponsors, concentrated on nude sculptures which influenced the following generation of sculptors.

Georg Kolbe
Auferstehung, 1920.
€ 60,000 / $ 67,800
€ 115,900 / $ 130.966

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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