Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012 in Munich Lot 58

 

58
Carl Grossberg
Ortseingang von Sommerhausen (Unterfranken), 1926.
Oil on canvas
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 56,500
Sold:
€ 93,940 / $ 106.152

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Ortseingang von Sommerhausen (Unterfranken). 1926.
Oil on canvas.
Signed and dated lower left. 70,5 x 70 cm (27,7 x 27,5 in).

PROVENANCE: Dr. Heinz Foucar.
Private colelction Southern Germany.

EXHIBITION: Carl Grossberg. Retrospective on occasion of 100th Birthday, Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, 28 August - 9 October, 1994/Kunsthalle Tübingen, 15 October - 27 November, 1994/Kunsthalle zu Kiel 11 December - 12 February, 1995/Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg 20 February - 17 April, 1995, cat. no. 17 (no illu.).

Born at Ebersfeld near Wuppertal on 6 September 1894, Carl Grossberg began to study architecture at Aachen and Darmstadt. His studies were interrupted by the first world war, in which he served, but he started again in 1919, this time as a pupil of Walter Klemm's at an art academy and from 1919 until 1921 under Lyonel Feininger at the staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar, where he trained in painting, decoration and spatial design. In 1921 Grossberg travelled extensively in southern Germany and settled near Würzburg. From 1927 Carl Grossmann again travelled a great deal to paint the machine pictures, industrial landscapes and cityscapes that are his signature work. He also began to receive industrial commissions with increasing frequency, for instance in 1932 from the Norta wallpaper factory in the Harz and in 1937 from the famous baking-goods firm of Oetker in Bielefeld, where he moved into a studio of his own. From 1933/34 Grossberg's interest in technology and industry began to assume encyclopaedic scope. He set himself the goal of painting the most important types of industries and industrial plants in Germany, calling this undertaking his 'Industrial Plan'. The National Socialist regime and the approach of war, however, reduced the number of commissions Grossman received so drastically that he tried to use connections in America to realize his plan. He was not allowed to leave Germany in 1939 to visit the US because he was classified as a reserve officer. That same year Grossmann was called up for active duty. Those last years left him virtually no time to paint; his last watercolor was not even finished. Carl Grossmann died in a tragic car crash in the forest of Compiègne near Laon on 19 October 1940.

If the term “New Objectivity“ in German painting in the 1920s required optical proof, then this painting of the entrance to a village in Lower Franconia would make for an outstanding example. The cool and factual interpretation of architecture, coming close to Photorealism in some parts, is the most remarkable feature of works by Carl Grossberg, who reached a high level of artistic precision with the Cubist compactness of his architectural illustrations. However, Grossberg‘s works cannot be regarded forerunners of Photorealism. The intentional confrontation of surface-filling forms and their optical smoothness create a very own power of expression. Driven by a will to form what hasn’t been formed, the works by Grossberg are masterpieces of an intellectual interpretation of what visually perceivable.

From 1927 Carl Grossmann again travelled a great deal to paint the machine pictures, industrial landscapes and cityscapes that are his signature work. He also began to receive industrial commissions with increasing frequency, for instance in 1932 from the Norta wallpaper factory in the Harz and in 1937 from the famous baking-goods firm of Oetker in Bielefeld, where he moved into a studio of his own. From 1933/34 Grossberg's interest in technology and industry began to assume encyclopaedic scope. He set himself the goal of painting the most important types of industries and industrial plants in Germany, calling this undertaking his 'Industrial Plan'. The National Socialist regime and the approach of war, however, reduced the number of commissions Grossman received so drastically that he tried to use connections in America to realize his plan. He was not allowed to leave Germany in 1939 to visit the US because he was classified as a reserve officer. That same year Grossmann was called up for active duty. Those last years left him virtually no time to paint; his last watercolor was not even finished. Carl Grossmann died in a tragic car crash in the forest of Compiègne near Laon on 19 October 1940. [KD]




58
Carl Grossberg
Ortseingang von Sommerhausen (Unterfranken), 1926.
Oil on canvas
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 56,500
Sold:
€ 93,940 / $ 106.152

(incl. 22% surcharge)