Bildnis Charlotte Cuhrt. 1910. Oil on canvas. Soika 1910/62. Signed and dated lower left. 175 x 85 cm (68.8 x 33.4 in). In original frame. [KD/ATh]. Pechstein's lucent paintings from the days of the "Brücke", today largely in possession of public collections, are the artist's most sought-after works on the international auction market.
PROVENANCE: Max Cuhrt, Berlin (commissioned in 1910 and in family possession until 2008). Private collection (since 2008).
EXHIBITION: Neue Sezession, III. exhibition Kunstsalon Maximilian Macht, Berlin, 18 February - mid April, 1911, no. 33 (portrait L. C.). Belvedere, Vienna, 2009-2014 (loan from private ownership).
LITERATURE: Johannes Sievers, Die Neue Sezession in Berlin, in: Der Cicerone, year 3, 1911, issue 5, p. 178. Cora Eggers-Wrublick, Das Portrait in der Malerei Max Pechsteins. Studien zum Portrait im Expressionismus, Essen 2004, no. 26, p. 289. Aya Soika, Max Pechstein. Das Werkverzeichnis der Ölgemälde, vol. 1: 1905-1918, München 2011, p. 104, 151, 275.
Pechstein presented this portrait "Bildnis Charlotte Cuhrt"at the widely noticed third exhibition of the 'Neue Secession' in 1911. A meaningful decision: It is proof of how much he saw all his modernity realized in this picture. The 'Neue Secession' was a very progressive association that campaigned against the time-honored "Berlin Secession". Accordingly, works of a highly avant-gardist potential were shown. "The best young artists, the promising bearers of a developable future have congregated to form a new Secession", wrote the art historian Max Raphael in the preface of the auction catalog. His following words precisely describe the "Bildnis Charlotte Cuhrt": "Every object is only medium of a color[..] and the work does not aim to deliver account of the impression of nature but the expression of sensation. The [..] 'imitation' disappears in favor of a 'new creation'." (Quote after 'Liebermanns Gegner. Die Neue Secession in Berlin und der Expressionismus', exhibition Berlin 2011, Cologne 2011, p. 204).