Sale: 520 / Evening Sale, June 18. 2021 in Munich Lot 343

 
343
Karl Hofer
Blumenmädchen (Flower Girl), 1935.
Oil on canvas
Estimate:
€ 120,000 / $ 144,000
Sold:
€ 175,000 / $ 210.000

(incl. 25% surcharge)
Lot description
Blumenmädchen (Flower Girl). 1935.
Oil on canvas.
Wohlert 1116. Lower left monogrammd and dated (scratched into wet paint in ligature). Inscribed with the artist's name and the title on the reverse, presumably by a hand other than that of the artist. There also inscribed "Herr Professor Hofer" presumably also by a hand other than that of the artist. 101.3 x 81 cm (39.8 x 31.8 in).

• Hofer uses the mythologic subject of "Flora", the Roman goddess of flowers and of the season of spring, for his very own contemporary pictorial language
• With a remarkably long exhibition history and a vast number of publications.
• Part of the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, for 65 years.
• Striking visualization of a particularly strong melancholia
.

PROVENANCE: Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin/Nierendorf
Nierendorf Galleries, New York (1937/38).
The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo/Ohio, USA (1938-2003, inv. no. 38.43, in 1938 presumably acquired with endowments from the museum's deceased founder Edward Drummond Libbey (1854-1925) and his wife Florence Scott Libbey (1863-1938).
Private collection Germany (acquired from the above in 2003, Sotheby's, New York, May 7, 2003, lot 362).
Acquired by today's owner from the above.

EXHIBITION: Karl Hofer, Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin, January 1937, cat. no. 16.
The 1937 International Exhibition of Paintings, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh/Pennsylvania, October 14 - December 5, 1937, cat. no. 353 (with illu. on plate 25).
Masters of the Twentieth Century, The Westerman Gallery, New York, March 29 - April 30, 1938.
Contemporary Movements in European Painting. Surrealism, Abstract Art, Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Fauves, The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo/Ohio, November 6 - December 11, 1938, cat. no. 46.
Contemporary German Art, Institute of Modern Art, Boston/Massachusetts, November 2 - December 9, 1939, cat. no. 19, p. 17, issue 1, p. 18.
An Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints by Karl Hofer, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh/Pennsylvania, Jaunary 4 - January 28, 1940, cat. no. 12 (with illu., frontispiece, with the exhibition label on the stretcher).
Karl Hofer. Paintings, Drawings, Prints, The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield/Massachusetts, February 4 - February 25, 1941, vol. 1, cat. no. 9.
Five Expressionists. Hofer, Munch, Hartley, Kokoschka, Schmidt-Rottluff, Dudley Peter Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin/Ohio, April 1946, cat. no. 12, p. 20.
10th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition, Institute of Modern Art, Boston/Massachusetts, November and December 1946.
Two Cities Collect, The Art Gallery of Toronto, January 1948, Toledo Museum of Art, April 1948, cat. no. 16 (with illu.).
The Archaic Smile, Birmingham Museum of Art / Birmingham Art Association / City Hall, Birmingham/Alabama, January 1956, cat. no. 52.

LITERATURE: H. Pattenhausen, Karl-Hofer-Ausstellung. Galerie Nierendorf, in: Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (Groß-Berlin edition), no. 22, January 14, 1937, p. [2].
Gertrud Haupt, Karl-Hofer-Ausstellung, in: Berliner Morgenpost, no. 13, January 15, 1937, p. [2].
Museum News, Toledo/Ohio, no. 85, March 1939, pp. 20f. (with illu.).
New Museum Acquisitions, Toledo, in: The Art News, 37.1939, 3. June, p. 16 (with illu.).
Blake-More Godwin, Catalogue of European Paintings, Museum of Art, Toledo/Ohio 1939, pp. 58f. (with illu.).
J. O'Connor (Jr.), Presenting Karl Hofer, in: Carnegie Magazine, 13.1940, no. 8 (January), p. 247 (with illu.).
Isabel Stevenson Monro, Index to Reproductions of European Paintings. A guide to pictures in more than three hundred books, New York 1956, p. 281.
The Toledo Museum of Art (editor), European Paintings, Toledo/Ohio 1976, pp. 77f., p. 228 (with illu., plate 76).
Sotheby's, New York, Part Two, May 7, 2003, pp. 210f., lot 362 (with color illu.).



Essay
In 1918 Karl Hofer traveled to Ticino for the first time, which in the years to come would serve him as a place of refuge and source of inspiration. In the mid-1920s he made it his second home when he bought a summer cottage on Lake Lugano. In works from the following years the artist often depicted the Ticino landscape, local sights, the local people and their lives, for example in "Kleine Tessiner Tischgesellschaft" (around 1935/1940). The work offered here shows is a document of his interest in local Ticino costumes. Similar to the much later depictions "Mädchen mit Blütenkranz" (1938), "Die Tessinerin" (1940) and "Mädchen mit Blütenkranz" (1942), Hofer staged the traditional Ticino costume in blue and red with an apron and a typical shawl. But instead of rendering a painting of a traditional portrait of a young woman from the Ticino, Hofer dares to refer to a traditional theme of European art history. With the characteristic formal reduction to individual essential elements and the intrinsic melancholy of Hofer's pictures, the artist succeeds in translating the mythological subject of "Flora", the Roman goddess of blossom and the personification of spring, into his very own contemporary visual language. Her gaze averted from the viewer, the wreath of hair braided from flowers and leaves and the brightly colored spring flowers in her lap evoke memories of famous depictions of "Flora", such as Botticelli's "Primavera" or the "Flora" depictions from the English Pre-Raphaelites. In fact, to Hofer it was about an artistic generalization, a general validity of the form, the representation of a general definition of the concept of beauty and the painterly visualization of a mood: the melancholy that he himself was so familiar with from those years before the Second World War. [CH]
343
Karl Hofer
Blumenmädchen (Flower Girl), 1935.
Oil on canvas
Estimate:
€ 120,000 / $ 144,000
Sold:
€ 175,000 / $ 210.000

(incl. 25% surcharge)