Sale: 525 / Evening Sale, Dec. 10. 2021 in Munich Lot 220


Willi Baumeister
Ideogramm I, 1937.
Oil on canvas
€ 40,000 - 60,000

$ 46,400 - 69,600

Ideogramm I. 1937.
Oil on canvas.
Beye/Baumeister 750. Signed and dated "Nov. 37" on the stretcher. There also signed on a label and inscribed with the work number "664". 54 x 65 cm (21.2 x 25.5 in).
This presumably is the first painting from the "Ideogramm" series with a total of six parts each showin the motif in a slight variation. This work is the only work from the series documented with the title "Hieroglyphe (Ideogramm)" and illustrated in the artist's journal.
• One of Willi Baumeister's first purely abstract compositions from the early work group "Ideogramme".
• The floating biomorphic structures show parallels to creations by contemporaries like Hans Arp and Alexander Calder.
• On display at the Baumeister retrospective at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne in 1965.
• From the Deutsche Bank Collection

PROVENANCE: Egon Vietta (1903-1959), Darmstadt (directly from the artist).
Dr. Rainer Vietta, Darmstadt (with note of ownership on the reverse, inherited from the above, presumably in 1959).
Collection Heinz Baumeister, Krefeld.
Galerie Gunzenhauser, Munich (1985).
Collection Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt a. M. (acquired from aforementioned).

EXHIBITION: Willi Baumeister. Gemälde und Zeichnungen, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, January 16 - March 14, 1965; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, April 11 - May 16, 1965, p. 16, cat. no. 17.
Willi Baumeister, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, May 30 - July 4, 1965, p. 40, cat. no. 18.
From a German Perspective – Masterpieces of the Deutsche Bank Collection. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia, November 17, 2004 – January 16, 2005.
Willi Baumeister - Figuren und Zeichen zur Erinnerung an den 50. Todestag des Künstlers, Bucerius-Kunst-Forum, Hamburg, August 31 - October 30, 2005/Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, November 27, 2005 - January 29, 2006/Von-der-Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, February 12 - March 26, 2006, cat. no. 26, with illu.

LITERATURE: Will Grohmann, Willi Baumeister - Leben und Werk, Cologne 1963, cat. no. 473, with illu. (with the title "Ideogramm I").
Galerie Gunzenhauser, catalog 7, Munich 1984/85, p. 18, with illu. on p. 19.
"In no other Baumeister work group than the 'Ideogramme' do the traces of painting appear in such a reduced manner."
Heinz Spielmann/Karin Rhein, Willi Baumeister - Figuren und Zeichen zur Erinnerung an den 50. Todestag des Künstlers, Hamburg 2005, p. 82.

Called up: December 10, 2021 - ca. 18.10 h +/- 20 min.

The compositions of the small group of works called "Ideograms", which Baumeister himself referred to as "hieroglyphs" in his notes, are wonderful airy pictures. In perfect floating balance, the black, clearly contoured forms are balanced against one another in a fascinating distance in front of a monochrome background. Nothing disturbs our gaze with which we follow the gently swaying contour. All of this inevitably evokes parallels with Alexander Calder's famous mobiles, with which the American artist also began to experiment around the mid-1930s. "Ideogram I" is one of Baumeister's first consistently abstract creations, which refuse any figurative association not only in terms of form, but also through their titles. Baumeister has a strong affinity for signs, which in the 1940s he once described as the "archetype of the pictorial", as "the first and perhaps the purest position of the optical-visual" (quote from: Beye / Baumeister, vol. I, p . 14). In addition to Calder, the black shapes in Baumeister's impressive composition with their reduced biomorphic formal language also remind us of the contemporary creations of the Franco-German artist Hans Arp. The artists Arp and Baumeister, who were almost the same age, came into contact early on through the Dadaist Kurt Schwitters. Their friendship and artistic exchange presumably commenced in Paris as early as in the 1920s. Finally, encounters of the two artists in the French capital are documented for 1930. In 1938, a year after the creation of the present composition, Arp inspected the works of art Baumeister deposited at the Kunsthalle Basel in 1937/38 in order to protect them from the National Socialists. Mutual studio visits and the exchange of works of art and artistic positions are documented for the post-war period. Baumeister and Arp are also members of the Parisian avant-garde artist group "Abstraction Création", which the American artist Alexander Calder also joined in 1931. The minimalist composition of "Ideogram I" is not only an exceptionally strong composition, but also an impressive artistic document of Baumeister's international artistic exchange in the 1930s. Baumeister, who taught as a professor at the Stuttgart Art Academy from 1946, is one of the most important German avant-garde artists of his time and the pioneering protagonist of Post-War Modernism. Most recently, in 2014, the MKM Museum Küppersmühle, Duisburg, traced Baumeister's career from his days as art student in Stuttgart to a celebrated post-war artist in the comprehensive exhibition "Willi Baumeister International". [JS]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Willi Baumeister "Ideogramm I"
This lot can only be purchased subject to regular taxation.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 500,000 €: herefrom 25 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 500,000 € is subject to a premium of 20% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 500,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 2,500,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 2,500,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

Resale right apportionment:
In accordance with §26 of German Copyright Act, a droit de suite charge of 2% plus statutory sales tax is levied for original artworks and photographs for the compensation of the statutory right of resale.