Sale: 500 / Evening Sale, July 17. 2020 in Munich Lot 120000225

Gerhard Richter
Christiane und Kerstin, 1968.
Oil on canvas
€ 600,000 - 800,000

$ 684,000 - 912,000

Lot description
Christiane und Kerstin. 1968.
Oil on canvas.
Elger 197-4. Verso signed and dated. 86 x 91 cm (33.8 x 35.8 in).

• Characteristic Richter work from the sought-after early period of the black and white photo paintings.
• Made in context of the commission for the famous paintings "Domplatz. Mailand" (1968) which currently is Richter's most expenisve figurative work.
• Characterized by a perfect balance between sharpness and blur.
• A smaller second version of this portrait is in possession of the Dallas Museum of Art.
• Works with similar motifs are extremely rare on the international auction market and realize top prices, such as "Mädchen im Sessel (lila)" (2014, New York) und "Mädchen im Liegestuhl" (2011, London) Spitzenpreise.
• Typical 1960s motif in summery airiness.
• New to the market from a renowned Southern German private collection

PROVENANCE: Collection Margot and Werner Schäfer, Erlangen.
Private collection Southern Germany.

LITERATURE: Gerhard Richter. 36th Biennale di Venezia, Deutscher Pavillion, published by Museum Folkwang, Essen 1972, p. 40.
Gerhard Richter.Bilder= Paintings 1962 - 1985, Cologne 1986, p. 371, with black-and-white illu. on p. 85.
Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter. Maler, Cologne 2002, p. 437.
Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter. Maler, Korrigierte und erweiterte Neuausgabe, Cologne 2008, p. 395.
Marc Godfrey et al (editor), Gerhard Richter: Panorama. Retrospective, Munich 2012, p. 213.
"I believe a painter needn't see nor know the model, neither >soul<, nature or the model's character have o find expression. [.] This is why it is so much better to make a portrait after a photo, simply because you can never paint a person but just a picture [.]."
Gerhard Richter, 1966, quote after: Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter. Maler, Cologne 2018, p. 93.

"Gerhard Richter [.] is considered [.] the most important Post War artist world-wide. More than half a million people saw his latest retrospective, his oeuvre is acknowledged by both art history and art market: Paintings by Richter, especially early ones, realize hammer prices in the double-digit millions at international auctions."
Catrin Lorch, Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 18/19, 2016, no. 139, p. 24.

To Richter, however, it is never about the depicted persons at all, but just about the painting which solely has its individual point of origin in the respective motif. Accordingly, paintings of family members are absolutely on a par with works after newspaper clippings other photos such as "Woman Descending the Staircase" (1965, The Art Institute of Chicago) or the painting "Drei Geschwister" (1965, Private Collection Chicago), which Richter conceived in 1964 from a photo of the later Danish queen Margret and her two sisters that he came across in the tabloid newspaper ‘Revue‘. Richter put it as follows in an interview with the German magazine ‘Der Spiegel‘ from 2005: "I did not care that these aspects [= autobiographic references in his works] would become an issue for discussion, as I want observers to see the pictures and not the painter and his kin, as that would have put a label on me and would have made me far too transparent. Indeed, I didn‘t care for facts, neither names or dates. That‘s all like a language that disturbs or even destroys the pictorial language. It‘s like with dreams: They have a unique pictorial language that you can either take on or hastily interpret false." (Quote after: Gerhard Richter. Text 1961 to 2007, Cologne 2008, p. 511.)
Gerhard Richter‘s work group of paintings made after photos of family members of renowned art collectors had its origin with a portrait series Richter made at the initiative of the legendary Düsseldorf gallerist Alfred Schmela in context of his first solo show in September 1964. Richter made three portraits of the gallery owner after passport photos and photos shot at gallery opening, initially intended as a sort of sample for potential customers of the gallery. The first version of the "Portrait Schmela" (Elger 37-1) was sold at Sotheby`s London for almost 5 million euro in 2015. As a much celebrated multi-million euro donation another version (Elger 37-3) changed ownership from the art historian Viktoria von Flemming to the State Art Collection North Rhine-Westphalia in summer 2014. The same context provided the background for the ‘Porträt Dr. Knobloch‘, today in possession of the State Art Collection Dresden. In most cases Richter received photographic material that he sorts out from an artistic perspective until he finds the most suitable model and the perfect picture detail. The architect and art collector Werner Schäfer, father of the two girls depcited here, was in charge of the commission for black-and-white painting of the Milan Cathedral Square on behalf of Siemens AG in 1968. In 2013 Sotheby's New York sold it for the breathtaking amount of 37 million dollar. Back then Schäfer worked for Siemens AG as the architect of the company‘s international branches. Subsequent to the commission of the large-size painting of the Cathedral Square, Richter made two paintings after photographs that Helmut Lederer shot of Christiane and Kerstin on the terrace of the Schäfer residence. This first version offered here (Elger 197-4) is particularly convincing for its airiness and the nearly perfect balance between sharpness and blur. The second smaller version (Elger 197-5), initially also in possession of the Schäfers and today part of the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art, is characterized by such a strong wiping that blurs the two girls almost beyond recognition. A comparison of both version provides striking proof Richter‘s artistic struggle for the perfect balance between technical perfection and the rather accidental wiping of the color values. Even though the motifs never meant much more to Richter than just a formal point of origin, the material basis of his painting, every single one of them makes his early black-and-white paintings so distinctive. A short glance at the work is enough and you can‘t get the impression of the uniquely gentle duct and the glistening haziness that Richter rendered the marvelous and determined faces of "Christiane und Kerstin" in out of your mind. Today most top quality works from this early period of creation of Gerhard Richter are in possession of renowned international collections. An offer for sale on the international art market is a very rare event. [JS]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Gerhard Richter "Christiane und Kerstin"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation.

Differential taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 32 % buyer's premium
Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 32%, for the share above € 500,000: 27% buyer's premium
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer prices up to € 500,000: 25 % buyer's premium plus statutory sales tax Hammer prices above € 500,000: for the share up to € 500,000: 25%, for the share above € 500.000: 20% buyer's premium, each plus statutory sales tax

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Resale right apportionment:
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.