Sale: 540 / Evening Sale, June 09. 2023 in Munich Lot 14


Karin Kneffel
Ohne Titel, 2016.
Oil on canvas
€ 120,000 - 150,000

$ 132,000 - 165,000

Ohne Titel. 2016.
Oil on canvas.
Signed and inscribed with the work number "2016/7" on the reverse. 180 x 240 cm (70.8 x 94.4 in), [SM].

• Exhibited at the renowned Gagosian Gallery.
• Reconstruction of the once famous Hermann Lange Collection, Krefeld (1874–1942), which comprised around 300 masterworks of modern European art at the beginning of the 20th century.
• Kneffel’s process of creation is based on photography – similar to the early works by Gerhard Richter, her former teacher at the Düsseldorf Academy.
• Kneffel creates a novel and complex painting characterized by a contemporary pictorial language and with a reference to 20th century art and architecture, as well as an own narrative element

Mentioned on the artist's official homepage.

PROVENANCE: Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills/L.A.
Private collection Munich (acquired from the above).

EXHIBITION: Karin Kneffel. New Works, Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills/LA. April 26 - June 11, 2016 (with the label on the stretcher.
Das Moment der Abstraktion, Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See, October 13, 2019 - February 16, 2020.

LITERATURE: Karin Kneffel. Still, Kunsthalle Bremen, June 22 - September 29, 2019/Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, October 12 - March 8, 2020, p. 121.

Called up: June 9, 2023 - ca. 17.26 h +/- 20 min.

As early as in 2009, the director of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld invited the artist to stage an exhibition at the Museum Haus Esters. The works in the exhibition should reference both the building itself, as well as its architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Accordingly, Karin Kneffel first began to investigate in the architecture and the interior of Haus Esters and conceived the cycle "Haus am Stadtrand", which delves into the history of the Mies van der Rohe villa as a residential building. In doing so, the artist develops a pictorial narrative that merges present and past: extreme details, abrupt connections between close-up and long-distance, a permanent analysis of reality combined with vexing reflective images are the main characteristics of her painting. Karin Kneffel unfolds a world of images that mysteriously merges present and history, reality and fiction. (

With the insight thus gained, the artist becomes occupied with another building by Mies van der Rohe in the immediate vicinity, the House Lange, and in context of her research, she came across photographs of the interior of the house from the early 1930s. The 16 historical photographs that have survived not only document the house’s special architecture, but also the extensive, extremely impressive art collection of the builder-owner Hermann Lange (1874-1942). The series includes several exterior shots, as well as some interior views that show the art that played a dominant role in the Lange family’s house. The twin buildings were built as private residences. In 1927, the silk manufacturers Hermann Lange (1874-1942) and Josef Esters (1884-1966), closely related on both a professional and private level, commissioned Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to build two family homes. Additionally, they also had him design some of the furnishings. In 1930, the families move in. While Josef Esters' family used the house until the owner's death in 1976, Hermann Lange's descendants decided to leave it to the municipal museum for exhibitions of contemporary art as early as in 1955. Up until today, the houses are still part of the Krefeld art museums. (Christiane Lange, Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, Möbel und Räume, Krefeld 2007).

The historical photographs provide an insight into the premises, the furnishings and the masterpieces of art compiled in the 1920s, which can be found in important museums and private collections around the world today. In Kneffel’s large-size works they celebrate a déjà vu. In context of the project and with the intention to study the originals in their respective new surrounding, the artist went looking for the paintings that are scattered to the four winds today. Three of the former Krefeld works are on loan at the Franz-Marc-Museum in Kochel today: in the left of the passageway we see Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's "Zwei Tänzer" (Two Dancers) from 1911, while August Macke's painting "Große Promenade. Leute im Park" (Great Promenade. People in the Park) from 1914 occupies a prominent spot on the central wall and Wassily Kandinsky's "Improvisation 21" from 1911 shows itself on a wall in the room behind it on the right. Kirchner's "Zwei Tänzer" were certainly part of the collection, as they are documented in the photographs Mies had commissioned in 1930. "Improvisation 21“ by Kandinsky, however, can not be found on the historic pictures, as it had been lent to Hermann Lange’s daughter Mildred and her husband Carl Wilhelm Crous, adorning their apartment in Berga an der Elster in Thuringia which Mies van der Rohe had built around 1929. Another photograph, which documents a room designed by Mies at the "Bauausstellung" in Berlin in 1931, shows the painting "Improvisation 21" as "decoration"; Hermann Langer gave it to his architect as a sign of their friendship. For the artist, the affiliation with the Hermann Lange Collection is revealed once again, but it is not listed as such in Hans Konrad Roethel's 1982 Wassily Kandinsky catalogue raisonné.
Like a journey through time, Kneffel no longer shows the paintings in the present monumental work in their former, historical setting in Haus Lange, but, as the bright interior with the seating furniture on the far left reveals, in the modern exhibition rooms on Kochelsee, and, of course, not without distorting, transforming and developing the current museum situation with great painterly finesse according to her characteristic artistic concept. Karin Kneffel veils the contemporary architecture behind a "curtain", the illusion of a pane misted by drops of water and other organic forms.

With her complex and unique painting style, Kneffel found a playful approach to Realism. The work offered here is a masterpiece of the characteristic fusion of reality and imagination. Art-historical, traditional painterly solutions meet her own innovative ideas and ultimately not only show us Kneffel's great inventiveness, but also the versatility of painting itself. [CH/MvL]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Karin Kneffel "Ohne Titel"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
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.

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

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.