Sale: 520 / Evening Sale, June 18. 2021 in Munich Lot 308

Karl Hofer
Zwei Mädchen am Tisch, 1923.
Oil on canvas
Post auction sale: € 140,000 / $ 168,000
Lot description
Zwei Mädchen am Tisch. 1923.
Oil on canvas.
Wohlert 540. Signed in lower right (in ligature). 73 x 89.5 cm (28.7 x 35.2 in).

• An artwork with history: Formerly in possession of the Nationalgalerie, Berlin.
• In 1928 part of the first grand Hofer retrospective at Kunsthalle Mannheim.
• Very few of Hofer's figure pictures were made in this format.
• Hofer rendered intimacy and melancholia of the depicted women in characteristic monumental manner

PROVENANCE: Nationalgalerie, Berlin / Kronprinzen-Palais, Berlin (in 1924 acquired from the artist, until 1937).
State property (confiscated from the above in 1937, EK no. 12082, until 1940).
Bernhard A. Böhmer, Güstrow (acquired in exchange from the above in 1940, until 1945).
Estate of Bernhard A. Böhmer, Güstrow (1945).
Collection Wilma Zelck, Rostock/Berlin/Hamburg (1945-1953/54, administration of aforementioned state).
Collection Peter B. Böhmer, Hamburg (from the above in 1953/54, until at least 1956).
Private collection Hamburg (acquired from the above before 1958).
Private collection Northern Germany (inherited from the above).

There are no pending restitution claims.

EXHIBITION: Karl Hofer. Das gesammelte Werk, Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, September 9 - October 21, 1928, p. 10, cat. no. 65.
Karl Hofer. Gemälde, exhibition in context of the "Berlin-Woche", Bad Godesberg, April 1965, cat. no. 7 (titled "Zwei Mädchen am Fenster" and dated "1925").
Karl Hofer, Schloss Cappenberg, Selm, September 19 - December 15, 1991, p. 84 (with color illu., no. 182).
Willi Baumeister und Karl Hofer. Begegnung der Bilder, Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig, December 19, 2004 - February 27, 2005, p. 203 (with color illu. on p. 64, illu. no. 2).

LITERATURE: Zweihundert Bilder der Nationalgalerie, erworben 1910 bis 1925 von Ludwig Justi, Berlin 1926 (with illu., no. 161).
Verzeichnis der Gemälde und Bildwerke in der Nationalgalerie zu Berlin, Berlin 1926, p. 47, cat. no. 1471.
Verzeichnis der Gemälde und Bildwerke in der Nationalgalerie zu Berlin, Berlin 1928, p. 52, cat. no. 1471.
Ludwig Justi, Von Corinth bis Klee, Berlin 1931, p. 144 (with illu., no. 72).
Anni Paul-Pescatore, Verzeichnis der Gemälde und Bildwerke der Neuen Abteilung im ehemaligen Kronprinzen-Palais, Berlin 1933, p. 12, cat. no. 1471.
Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett Roman Norbert Ketterer, 25th auction, Stuttgart 1956, p. 47, cat. no. 366 (with illu., plate 16, with a label on the reverse. Consigned by Wilma Zelck, unsold).
Databank of confiscated inventory in context of the campaign "Entartete Kunst" (Degenerate Art), EK no. 12082.
Die Weltkunst, 26.1956, issue 22 (November 15), p. 39 (with illu., dated "1925").
Franz Roh, "Entartete" Kunst, Hanover 1962, p. 130.
Alfred Hentzen, Die Entstehung der Neuen Abteilung der Nationalgalerie im ehemaligen Kronprinzen-Palais, in: Jahrbuch Preußischer Kulturbesitz 1972, Cologne/Berlin 1973, p. 44.
Friedegund Weidemann, catalog of State Museums Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Berlin 1976, p. 94.
Annegret Janda, Die Gemälde und Bildwerke der Expressionisten im ehemaligen Kronprinzen-Palais, in: Das Schicksal einer Sammlung, Berlin 1986, pp. 21, 41, 45 (with different titles), NA Berlin 1988, pp. 38, 41, 76 and 83 (with illu. on p. 41).
Bernhard Gervink, Bilder von tiefem Ernst, in: Westfälische Nachrichten (Münster), no. 220, September 21/22, 1991 (with illu.).
Hans Kinkel, Mann in Ruinen, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, no. 268, November 18, 1991, p. 36 (with illu.).
Annegret Janda, Kunst in Deutschland 1905-1937, State Museums Berlin 1992, p. 119, no. 173 (with illu.).
Meike Hoffmann (editor), Ein Händler "entarteter" Kunst. Bernhard A. Böhmer und sein Nachlass, Berlin 2010, cat. no. II.147.
Annegret Janda and Jörn Grabowski, Kunst in Deutschland 1905-1937. Die verlorene Sammlung der Nationalgalerie, Berlin 1992. p. 119, illu. on p. 119, cat. no. 173.
Katrin Engelhardt, Die Ausstellung "Entartete Kunst" in Berlin. Rekonstruktion und Analyse, in: Uwe Fleckner (editor), Angriff auf die Avantgarde. Kunst und Kunstpolitik im Nationalsozialismus, Berlin 2007, pp. 89-188, here p. 172.
Franz Roh, "Entartete" Kunst. Kunstbarbarei im Dritten Reich, Hanover 1962, p. 130.
"His figures huddle together as if to protect each other, with fearful, unsuspecting or introvert expectant expression."
Ex. cat. Karl Hofer. Von Lebensspuk und stiller Schönheit, Hamburg 2012, p. 90.

"Karl Hofer‘s great accomplishment undoubtedly is the figure picture," wrote Dr. Frank Schmidt, then director of the Emdener Kunsthalle, in the catalog for the exhibition "Karl Hofer. Von Lebensspuk und stiller Schönheit" (p. 92) 2012. In particular his female figures, often female nudes, determine the artist's entire oeuvre. Hofer had already been occupied with the motif of hugging women in earlier works, for example in 1906 in "Zwei Frauen vor dem Meer" (Oskar Reinhart Foundation, Winterthur). But it wasn't until the 1920s that he devoted himself more intensively to the subject. In addition to some depictions of men embracing each other (e. g. "Zwei Freunde " in the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main), female nudes embracing each other were also created (today, among others, part of the collections of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, "Freundinnen", 1923/24, and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart "Zwei Mädchen", 1922). In our work, however, the artist has given up nudity and the sculptural rigidity that is often inherent in his figures in favor of a stronger humane expression and an increased melancholia. In deep, intimate affection, the tenderly touching figures appear distinctly in front of the dark background and in a nocturnal atmosphere. With the palpable, almost tangible intimacy, melancholy and vulnerability of the sitters, Hofer achieved a rare monumentality that identifies him as a master of figuration in German art of the early 20th century. [CH]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right apportionment for Karl Hofer "Zwei Mädchen am Tisch"
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

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Resale right apportionment:
Objects made by artists who have not died at least 70 years ago are subject to a resale right apportionment of 2.4% including statutory sales tax.