Sale: 550 / Evening Sale, June 07. 2024 in Munich Lot 29

Hans Uhlmann
Draht-Plastik, 1949.
Iron, mounted on a wooden base
€ 80,000 - 120,000

$ 85,600 - 128,400

Draht-Plastik. 1949.
Iron, mounted on a wooden base.
Signed and inscribed "Berlin-Steglitz / Birkbuschstr. 84 / Draht-Plastik / (1949) / Eisen" on a label on the underside of the base. 73 x 41.5 x 32 cm (28.7 x 16.3 x 12.5 in). Base: 14,7 x 6 cm (5,7 x 2,3 in).

• Weightlessness, motion, and dynamics in their purest form by the "engineer of the sculptural form".
• From the time of his artistic breakthrough.
• One of the extremely rare wire sculptures from the short creative period around 1948-50.
• His groundbreaking works were presented at the Venice Biennale in 1954, at the World's Fair in Brussels in 1957, at the two important MoMa exhibitions "German Art of the 20th Century" in 1958 and "The New Decade" in 1955, as well as at the first three documenta exhibitions in 1955, 1959 and 1964 and posthumously in 1977.
• Uhlmann's sculptures are in the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, the Kunsthalle Hamburg, and the Bavarian State Painting Collections.
• The artist has been met with a new appreciation in recent years and is currently honored with the exhibition "Hans Uhlmann. Experimentelles Formen" at the Berlinische Galerie (until May 13, 2024)

Accompanied by a written certfiicate of authenticity from Hans-Joachim Uhlmann, the artist's son, Berlin, dated April 14, 2016.

Private collection.
Eberhard Seel (1900-1978), Berlin.
Private collection Berlin (acquired from the above's estate in 1978).
Private collection Northern Germany (acquired in 2016).

"The meaning of constructing and forming - the act of creation - this special way of life - is to me the greatest possible freedom. […] The kind of sculpture I wish to make has led to the use of entirely immaterial forms, including mirrored images and fragments of mirrored images. I am concerned with a sculpture which aims at all the senses and does not give tactile satisfaction only.“

quoted from. The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, ex. cat. Museum of Modern Art, New York 1955, pp. 44f.

Called up: June 7, 2024 - ca. 17.56 h +/- 20 min.

"Arabesques in space" - was how the renowned art historian Werner Haftmann (1912-1999), artistic director of the first three documenta exhibitions together with Arnold Bode, and first director of Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie, described Uhlmann's wire sculptures. Seemingly spontaneous accounts of inner sensation, comparable to the gestural painting of Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel, marked a radical renunciation of traditional figurative and representational art forms in the late 1940s. The dynamics of the oscillating lines, and the rising and falling energies of the swirling vortices immortalize this movement as the most primal principle of vitality in the paradox of a moment coagulated in metal in Uhlmann's sculptures. In viewing the work, we follow the trace of the drawing and the movement of the lines traversing the space with our eyes and minds. His spatial structures create a new definition of sculptural design that is no longer dedicated to static volumes, but in which the line in its movement becomes an end in itself and claims autonomy. The filigree structures in their all-encompassing nature constantly open up new perspectives and evoke associations with rhythm, dance, and music.
Uhlmann initially pursued a career as an engineer and worked in the industry in the 1930s. At the same time, however, he became involved with cubist and constructivist approaches to form in drawing and sculpture. From early on, he was particularly fascinated with metal structures. His avant-garde self-conception shows in the bent and soldered objects made of wire and sheet metal, which already incorporated the space in between as part of the sculpture. In the 1950s, he gained national and international recognition for these positions. In 1950, he followed a call to teach at the 'Hochschule für Bildende Künste' Berlin, initially the undergraduate class, in 1952 he finally took over the sculpting class, becoming part of the change of generations and paradigms that took place at this time. He soon had a new studio with assistants and technical equipment at his disposal, which made the construction of new metal sculptures possible. From then on, larger dimensions, welded surfaces, and geometric elements gained in importance and were realized in numerous large sculptures in public spaces.
The relevance of his artistic position is also demonstrated by his participation in the first three documenta exhibitions from 1955-1967 under the co-direction of Werner Haftmann, the curator Andrew C. Ritchie placed him in the landmark post-war exhibitions "The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors" in 1955 and "German Art of the 20th century" in 1957 at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Ernst Wilhelm Nay, whom Uhlmann had met in Berlin at the end of the 1940s, had drawn the attention of the most influential art historian of the post-war period to his first major exhibition at Galerie Günther Franke in Munich in 1950. In the 1957 catalog, Alfred Hentzen, director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, also emphasized his importance as "The only German sculptor of this generation who has worked continuously and with consistent logic in purely non-objective forms " (quoted from 'German Art of the 20th century', New York 1957, p. 176) - a pioneer unique in his generation who opened up new paths with his work.
The post-war generation change, closely linked to the final recognition of abstraction as an independent means of expression, did not only take place in painting (Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel), but also in sculpting. In the 1950s, Norbert Kricke continued the art of the line in dialog with Uhlmann (also called up in our Evening Sale: Norbert Kricke, Raumplastik Rot, Stahl auf Sockel, 1952, lot 31). In photography, important artists such as Otto Steinert experimented with forms and graphic structures that were conceived as abstract, successfully representing their point of view in the internationally acclaimed exhibition "subjektive fotografie" (Otto Steinert, Rotating wire figure. Design for the cover of the exhibition catalog "subjektive fotografie", silver gelatin print, 1951, offered in our Contemporary Art Day Sale, June 7, 2024, lot 123).
Despite Uhlmann's artistic significance, he has yet to be appreciated by a wider public today; a gap that will be filled with the major retrospective of his artistic work from the 1930s to the 1970s in the exhibition "Hans Uhlmann - Experimentelles Formen" at the Berlinische Galerie in 2024. [KT].

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Hans Uhlmann "Draht-Plastik"
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.