Sale: 406 / Modern Art, June 08. 2013 in Munich Lot 76

 
76
Lyonel Feininger
Ship, blue sea, pink sky, 1946.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 25,000 / $ 28,500
Sold:
€ 36,600 / $ 41.724

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Ship, blue sea, pink sky. ca. 1946.
Watercolor and India ink.
Signed lower left. On wove paper. 20 x 27 cm (7,8 x 10,6 in), size of sheet.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Kortheuer, USA.
Private collection Austria.
Private collection Luxembourg.

EXHIBITION: The North Carolina Collects Exhibition, The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 6 October - 29 October 1967, illustration no. 144 (with label on the rear of the frame).
Forum Gallery, New York (with label on the rear of the frame).
Lynn G. Epsteen Gallery, New York (with label on the rear of the frame).
Saidenberg Gallery, New York (with label on the rear of the frame).
Galerie Welz, Salzburg (with label on the rear of the frame).

Lyonel Feininger was born on 17 July 1871 as the son of a concert violinist of German origin and a singer and pianist. He followed his parents to Europe in 1887, where he first attended the drawing and painting class at the Gewerbeschule in Hamburg and later studied at the Königliche Kunst-Akademie in Berlin from 1888 to 1892. Then followed one year in Paris where he attended the private art school of the Italian sculptor Filippo Colarossi. Feininger returned to Berlin in 1893, where he earned a living mainly as an illustrator until 1906. He spent the following two years in Paris where he met the 'Café du Dôme'-circle of German Matisse pupils as well as Robert Delaunay. He became a member of the 'Berliner Sezession' in 1909, exhibiting at their show for the first time one year later. The artist travelled to Paris in 1911 for his exhibition at the 'Salon des Independants'. Here he had his first encounter with Cubism. His acquaintance with Alfred Kubin and the 'Brücke' painters Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Erich Heckel opened up new perspectives for his own work in 1912. He began making his first architectural compositions with the typical Cubist fragmentation. In 1913 Franz Mark invited Feininger to participate in the 'Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon' at Herwarth Walden's 'Sturm'-Galerie in Berlin, which also organised Feininger's first one-man exhibition in 1917. Walter Gropius called him to the 'Bauhaus' in Weimar in 1919, where he taught graphic art and painting until 1926. Together with Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Alexej von Jawlensky Feininger founded the artist group 'Die Blauen Vier' in 1924. A first comprehensive retrospective exhibition took place in 1931 at the Kronprinzen-Palais in Berlin, where the artist moved in 1933. Feininger emigrated to New York in 1937. In the same year the National Socialists confiscated more than 400 of his works.

The ships on East and Hudson River dominate New York’s cityscape. And Lyonel Feininger knows them all, the different types of sailing ships, cutters and steamers. These ships in all variations become characteristic of Feininger’s artistic work. They connect the backbone’s of Feininger’s visual ideas, the romantic and the technical-constructive aspect, in a very special way. Nautical motifs also play an important role in his later American works. However, his style underwent an important change during this period. The cubic-spatial aspect gave way to the two-dimensional, painting was replaced by graphic art, accordingly, Feininger’s later style is often fittingly described as his ‘graphic period‘. This work clearly shows the features characteristic of this late creative period. The clear forms and the absence of persons are just as characteristic as the scant usage of colors to support the linear composition. But yet, Feininger shows great poise in filling the straight and austere forms with airiness and motion.

In 1945 Feininger ran a summer course at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he met Gropius and Einstein. His teaching, his writing and his later watercolors were an important source for the development of Abstract Expressionism in America.

76
Lyonel Feininger
Ship, blue sea, pink sky, 1946.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 25,000 / $ 28,500
Sold:
€ 36,600 / $ 41.724

(incl. 22% surcharge)