Sale: 496 / Evening Sale, Dec. 06. 2019 in Munich Lot 129

 
129
Alexej von Jawlensky
Winterstimmung (Abstrakter Kopf), 1932.
Oil
Estimate:
€ 240,000 - 280,000

 
$ 264,000 - 308,000

+
Lot description
Winterstimmung (Abstrakter Kopf). 1932.
Oil on structured wove paper, laid on firm board by the artist.
Jawlensky/Pieroni-Jawlensky 1402. Monogrammed in lower left, lower right dated and numbered "N. 29" on vers of the board. Verso inscribed "Winterstimmung, 1932" and "made in Germany, Winter's mood" by Galka Scheyer, art dealer and close friend of Jawlensky. Verso additionally with a label of the E. and A. Silberman Galleries, New York. 33.8 x 26.1 cm (13.3 x 10.2 in). Board: 42,1 x 31,7 cm ( 16,6 x 12,5 in).
The so-called "Cahier Noir", a list of his works compiled by the artist and his secretary Lisa Kümmel in 1934, mentions the work on p. 54.
- Colorful variety and expressiveness.
- Idealistic composition with great empathy.
- In possession of the family of Emilie "Galka" Scheyer who deceased in 1945.
- International provenances and an impressive exhibition history
.

PROVENANCE: Galka Scheyer, Hollywood, USA (obtained directly from the artist in 1933; the work is mentioned on the lists Jawlensky sent to Scheyer in 1933).
Estate Galka Scheyer, Los Angeles, USA (1945-1954).
Collection Audrey Lowe Levin, St. Louis, USA (acquired in 1954, verso with a hand-written inscription).
Collection Sam J. Levin, St. Louis, USA (until 1992, inherited from aforementioned in 1991).
Private collection USA.
Galerie Thomas, Munich (as of 2008).
Private collection Berlin.

EXHIBITION: Deutscher Künstlerbund, Städtische Kunsthalle Königsberg, June 16 - July 31, 1932, Museum Danzig, August 10 - October 2, 1932, cat. no. 157
Deutscher Künstlerbund, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, February 4 - March 4, 1933, without cat.
Homage to Jawlensky. Retrospective, Nierendorf Gallery, New York, May 1939, cat. no. 59.
Alexej von Jawlensky, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, March 4 - March 30, 1957, cat. no. 45 (verso with the typographically inscribed gallery label).
18th, 19th, 20th Century Paintings, Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, July to September 1962.
Artist and Maecenas. A Tribute to Curt Valentin, Marborough-Gerson Gallery, Inc., New York, 1963, without cat. (verso with the typographically inscribed gallery label).
3rd Art Dubai, Galerie Thomas, Madinat Arena, Dubai, March 19 - March 21, 2009, p. 34 (with illu.).

LITERATURE: Clemens Weiler, Alexej Jawlensky, Cologne 1959, no. 360.
Sotheby's, New York, February 25, 1992, lot no. 30 (with color illu.).



Called up: December 6, 2019 - ca. 17.54 h +/- 20 min.

Essay
During these dire straits the artist heavily depended on the support of the Jawlensky Society, founded in 1927 by his close friend the Frankfurt gallerist Hanna Bekker vom Rath. Additionally, he had to rely on the efforts and sales proceeds realized by Emilie Esther Scheyer who mainly lived in the USA as of 1924. Because of her deep black hair Jawlensky lovingly nick-named "Galka" (Russian for daw). In 1916 Jawlensky met the Jewish art trader and collector in Switzerland where he was living in exile ever since he had been evicted from Germany. On and off the artist had been troubled by arthritis over a couple of years, his mobility was severely constricted and from time to time he even was bedridden. He now lived in relative isolation in his apartment in Wiesbaden. In the wake of the increasing xenophobia in Germany an exhibition ban was imposed on him in 1933. Accordingly, Emmy Galka Scheyer turned out a true savior in time of need in the troublesome 1930s. In 1932, the year this work was made, Jawlensky wrote to her: "I suffer a lot, but I am alive– I am not always bedridden. I sometimes sit upright on my bed and work. That‘s all there is left - work. But it also takes will, strength, nerves and ecstasy. Considering my condition, it is really hard to do. But I have a strong will and I love, I love art more than anything else. [.] I talk to god, I pray to him, in my works. [.] I have some very nice pictures. Some are artworks. They emanate a secret life. And they are very beautiful." (Quote after: Ex. cat. Die Blaue Vier, Kunstmuseum Bern/Kunstsammlung NRW, Dusseldorf, 1997-1998, p. 77). Owing to her passion for Modern Art Galka Scheyer became the agent of Jawlensky, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in 1924 and tried to establish the artist group under the name "The Blue Four" on the American art market. She organized lecture tours and exhibitions, eventually she sold a total of almost 60 oil paintings as well as several lithographs and watercolors by the artist between 1925 and 1940. Jawlensky also sent this work "Abstrakter Kopf: Winterstimmung" (Abstract Head: Winter‘s Mood) to Scheyer in the USA in 1933. With its gentle and cool colors that reflect the title, the work is an aesthetically appealing example of the Abstract Heads that documents the development towards an increased abstraction prompted by Jawlensky‘s ailing. Eventually, this development led to the even deeper and calmer Meditations. Galka Scheyer was fascinated by the art of the "Blue Four", and was especially enthusiastic about Jawlensky‘s heads: "Jawlensky conveyed the human head as such into a language of the abstract life, lifted it out of its earthly existence, and manifested spirit and soul. The new laws that he had attained are of a mathematical nature. He integrated the laws of other artists in his pictures: architecture in the balanced colors, music in the colors‘ rhythm, dance as the line of colors, sculpture as the colors‘ form, poetry as content or as a word to announce the colors, painting as symphonic summarization" (quote after: Clemens Weiler, Alexej Jawlensky, Cologne 1959, p. 106). Jawlensky‘s fellow artists shared her opinion. For their private collections Karl Schmidt-Rottluff bought one, Paul Klee two and Kandinsky also one of the Abstract Heads. [CH]
 


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Objects made by artists who have not died at least 70 years ago are subject to a resale right apportionment of 1.5% plus statutory sales tax.