Sale: 525 / Evening Sale, Dec. 10. 2021 in Munich Lot 222

 

222
Willi Baumeister
Kammzugfiguren, 1949.
Oil, synhetic resin and filler on fiberboard
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 58,000
Sold:
€ 62,500 / $ 72.500

(incl. surcharge)
Kammzugfiguren. 1949.
Oil, synhetic resin and filler on fiberboard.
Beye/Baumeister 1367. Upper left barely legibly signed. With the artist's studio stamp on the reverse, as well as with a small, typographically incribed label. 38.5 x 55.1 cm (15.1 x 21.6 in).

• From the work group "Kammzüge", of which only two other works have been offered on the international auction market.
• Through the usage of synthetic resin and filler, Baumeister realized an impressive haptical surface effect.
• One year before this work was made, the artist exhibited at the 26th Venice Biennial, in 1955 he participated in documenta I
.

PROVENANCE: Estate Willi Baumeister.
Collection Dr. Richard Döcker, Stuttgart (with hand-written inscription on the reverse).
Private collection Stuttgart.
Galerie Dorn, Stuttgart.
Galerie Wolfhard Viertel, Frankfurt am Main.
Essen art trade.
Private collection Recklinghausen.
Private collection Austria.

EXHIBITION: Willi Baumeister und Gudrun Krüger, Galerie Dorn, Stuttgart, January 14 - February 12, 1983.
Willi Baumeister - Philipp Harth, Galerie Gertrud Dorn, Stuttgart, July 6 - September 22, 1985.

LITERATURE: Will Grohmann, Willi Baumeister. Leben und Werk, Cologne 1963, cat. no. 1068 (titled "Kammzugfiguren I").
Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg, 239th auction, June 13, 1981, lot 73, p. 13 (with illu., plate 28, reversed image).
Peter Beye and Felicitas Baumeister, Willi Baumeister. Werkkatalog der Gemälde, vol. II, Ostfildern-Ruit 2002, cat. no. 1367 (with illu.).

"Modern art does not form after nature, but like nature, parallel to nature."
Willi Baumeister, Gleichnisse zur Natur, 1949, in: Der Spiegel 3, zit. nach: www.willi-baumeister.org.



With his diverse, at times parallel work cycles and continuously developed abstractions, Willi Baumeister received great international recognition even before the World War II. As early as in1930 he exhibited in the 27th Venice Biennial. After the end of the war, the artist was able to build on his earlier successes. In 1947 the Kunsthalle Bern showed his works in the important overview exhibition "Moderne Deutsche Kunst seit 1933", followed by major solo exhibitions and exhibition participation, including, among them in the international exhibition of abstract painting at the Paris Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1948 and the first post-war Venice Biennial the same year.

Baumeister began to show an interest in various types of structures that gave the picture ground a relaxed, lively surface as early as in the early 1930s. Among other things, he combined linear, almost graphic elements with amoeba-like structures, or clearly contoured, distanced forms, which he combined to create lyrical, cheerful compositions. With the "Kammzüge" (Comb Streaks), Willi Baumeister had found a new and element of composition that he had used as accompanying accessory in his compositions in previous years, however, not as main motif yet. Baumeister applied an impasto filler onto the canvas and combs through it giving these color areas a relief-like structure with narrow, parallel grooves.
In the "Kammzugfiguren", of which this work offered here is a prime example, the motif spreads out across the entire surface in elongated curved or short, concise elements with the haptically so appealing furrowed surface texture. The light refracts more unevenly at the relief-like depressions than on the rest of the picture, which is painted in sandy, delicate color nuances, and the shading noticeably promotes the impression of feel and plasticity. The wall-like layering of the impasto-structured forms is broken up by delicate, linear elements and pointy, cloudy, strong, colorful accents of color, which also give the loose composition a certain lightness. The elements seem to float above the pictorial surface, as if they could not be fully attached to the ground by the fine graphic lineament.

In particular in comparison with the similar relief-like but rather gloomy "Figurenlandschaften" (Figure Landscapes) and "Figurenmauern" (Figure Walls) from the early 1940s, the "Kammzüge" and the related "Sonnnefiguren“ (Sun figures) are particularly captivating for their radiant, bright "colors that convey a light transparency and weightlessness" (Peter Beye, in: Beye / Baumeister, Willi Baumeister. Catalog raisonné of paintings, vol. I, p. 18). With the work offered here, Baumeister not only succeeded in creating an attractive contrast between relief-like plasticity and cheerful, relaxed, light image structure, but also an impression of lively movement with the help of the shapes that seem to float in space, rhythmically distributed and filling the image. [CH]



222
Willi Baumeister
Kammzugfiguren, 1949.
Oil, synhetic resin and filler on fiberboard
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 58,000
Sold:
€ 62,500 / $ 72.500

(incl. surcharge)