Annemarie I (Am Fenster). 1920. Oil on board. Buchholz/von Zitzewitz 30. Monogrammed and dated in upper right, as well as inscribed "I" in upper left. Verso signed and titled "Am Fenster" and with the artist's estate stamp and the hand-written number "WV 30 / 1920". 85.5 x 63.5 cm (33.6 x 25 in).
• Rare depcition characterized by an engrossed atmosphere. • One of the very rare figure compositions from her expressionist period. • This work was presumably shown in the 2nd Secession Exhibition in 1921 under the title 'Am Fenster'.
PROVENANCE: Artist's estate (verso with the estate stamp). Private collection (1988-2014). Private collection Germany.
EXHIBITION: Exhibition of 'Hamburger Künstlerschaft' 1920, cat. no. 246, with illu. Presumably II. Exhibition of Hamburg Secession, Hamburg 1921, cat. no. 42 (with title "Am Fenster"). Galerie Herold, Hamburg (presumably exhibition Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen 1986; verso with the gallery stamp).
LITERATURE: Mathias F. Hans, Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen 1886-1930. Monographie und kritischer Werkkatalog, Hamburg 1986, cat. no. 30. Christie’s London, June 28, 1988, lot 199. "During the turbulent years right after World War I [..] Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen created impressive works that reflect the impact of the art of the 'Brücke' group and the wooden African sculptures that her husband collected [..]." Prof. Dr. Hanns Theodor Flemming, in: Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen. Leben und Werk, p. 35.
After impressionist beginnings, which showed an increasing consolidation of a form in the style of Cézanne, the young artist, who would soon emerge as one of the most interesting personalities of the Hamburg art scene, attained her mature and expressionistic style after World War I. She and her husband were among the founding members of the Hamburg Secession in 1919. However, as of the mid 1920s Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen gave up a concept of color and form that showed the influence of the "Brücke" artists in favor of a softer manner of painting. Only very few paintings from this short but important period of creation of the early deceased artist have survived. This portrait "Annemarie I" is one of the rare pictorial documents with the remarkable artistic quality and finesse characteristic of Maetzel-Johannsen’s figure pictures from those days. The mask-like exaggerated facial features with the oversized black eyes, the eccentric gesture, the extremely long fingers and the almost crystalline background make for the quaint and surreal atmosphere that is so typical of works by the Northern German artist. [JS]