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Baselitz: Inverted Motif And Finger Painting – “Waldweg“: A Contemporary Museum Piece At Auction

 Georg Baselitz – Waldweg, 1974. Oil on canvas, 74.8 x 38.1 in. Estimate price: US$ 770,000-990,000

Munich, May 12, 2022 (KK) – With Georg Baselitz‘ “Waldweg“, a piece of contempo-rary museum art will be called up in the Evening Sale in this year‘s June Auction of Ketterer Kunst in Munich on June 10. The work is estimated at US$ 770,000-990,000/
€ 700,000-900,000.

The large, slim elongate canvas conveys the impression of a forest path. In 1974 the work was made in the town of Forst an der Weinstraße, and is part of the famous series of the extremely rare “Finger Paintings“, which fetch top prices on the international auction market. The profoundly German motif of a birch path is of great arthistorical relevance for its inverted motif.

“With his works from the 1960s and 1970s, Georg Baselitz paved new paths for figurative art to unfold its pictorial energies. His forest motifs, especially those upside-down, made Baselitz world-famous, as they counterpoint American Pop art and French Informalism“, explains Dr. Sebastian Neusser, art historian and Director at Ketterer Kunst. “Through an alienation of the motif, Georg Baselitz attained a new form of abstraction, in which the subject doesn‘t get lost.“
In “Waldweg“, this disassociation with regards to the content is accompanied by the artist‘s physical approximation to the painting. Baselitz dips his hands right into the paint and paints the picture with his fingers.
Nothing shall stand between artist and work, not even a brush. An early finger painting was shown at Documenta V in 1972, and was met with overwhelming response (“Fingermalerei-Birken“).

Georg Baselitz was born Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschbaselitz in 1938. Today he is considered one of the greatest German painters, sculptors and graphic artists, he lives in Salzburg. When he rotated the motif by 180 degrees for the first time in “Der Wald auf dem Kopf“ from 1969, many saw it as a mere artistic provocation typical of the time. The work has a prominent spot in Museum Ludwig in Cologne today. Baselitz gave six works from the late 1960s to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York, which the museum presented in the solo show “Georg Baselitz. Pivotal Turn“ in 2021, while the Centre Pompidou in Paris honored Baselitz with a grand retrospective exhibition from October 2021 to March 2022 .

Highlights of the Evening Sale, June 10, 2022:

Baselitz‘ “Waldweg“ is in the best of company in the upcoming auction in June. The highlight of the EVENING SALE is August Macke‘s “Mädchen mit blauen Vögeln” (estimate: US$ 2,200,000-3,300,000/€ 2,000,000-3,000,000) (see separate press release).

The section “BRÜCKE PAINTERS – THE GERLINGER COLLECTION” includes Erich Heckel‘s “Kinder” (estimate: US$ 690,000-920,000/€ 600,000-800,000), Max Pechstein‘s oil painting “In der Hängematte” (estimate: US$ 345,000-460,000/€ 300,000-400,000) and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner‘s “Wintermondnacht” (estimate: US$ 287,500-402,500/€ 250,000-350,000).

The auction highlights from the section of MODERN ART comprises among them an array of works from Emil Nolde led by the oil painting “Rittersporn und Silberpappeln” (estimate: US$ 550,000-770,000/€ 500,000-700,000), Max Beckmann’s “Holländischer Radfahrerweg” (estimate: US$ 330,000-440,000/€ 300.000-400.000), Edvard Munch’s “Mädchen auf der Brücke” (estimate: US$ 176,000-220,000/€ 160,000-200,000) and André Derain‘s “Arbres aux environs de Martigues” (estimate: US$ 110,000-165,000/€ 100,000-150,000). Other big names in this department are Lovis Corinth, Conrad Felixmüller, Karl Hofer, Käthe Kollwitz, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Max Liebermann, Gabriele Münter, Pablo Picasso and Renée Sintenis.

The section of POST WAR ART offers captivating pieces like Georg Baselitz’s large-size work “Waldweg” (estimate: US$ 770,000-990,000/€ 700,000-900,000) Gerhard Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild 665-4” (estimate: US$ 660,000-880,000/€ 600,000-800,000), Cindy Sherman’s photograph “Untitled #282” (estimate: US$ 495,000-605,000/€ 450,000-550,000), Pierre Soulage’s “Peinture 54 x 73 cm, 26 septembre 1981” (estimate: US$ 440,000-660,000/€ 400,000-600,000), Tony Cragg’s “Points of View” (estimate: US$ 275,000-385,000/€ 250,000-350,000) Andy Warhol’s color silkscreen “Goethe” (estimate: US$ 198,000-264,000/€ 180,000-240,000). It will also include various works of Katharina Grosse, for example “Ohne Titel” (estimate: US$ 198,000-264,000/€ 180,000-240,000) and from Hermann Nitsch, as “Schüttbild” (estimate: US$ 77,000-99,000/€ 70,000-90,000). More top-class art comes from, among others, Horst Antes, Stephan Balkenhol, Eduardo Chillida, Konrad Klapheck, Imi Knoebel, Konrad Lueg, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Roman Opalka and Steven Perrino.

May 18/19 Galerie B. Knaus, Frankfurt
May 21-23 Ketterer Kunst, Düsseldorf
May 25/26 Galerie Herold, Hamburg
May 28 – June 2 Ketterer Kunst, Berlin
June 04-10 Ketterer Kunst, Munich

Auction in Munich
June 10
Post War / Contemporary Art / Evening Sale /
Collection Hermann Gerlinger

June 11
19th Century Art / Moderne Art

Ketterer Kunst ( and with headquarters in Munich and branches in Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Berlin as well as with a global network of representatives in, among others, the USA and Brazil, was founded in 1954. The auction house has a focus on Fine Art from the 19th to the 21st Century and Rare Books. In its market segment Ketterer Kunst is not only Germany's number one but also the leading house in the European Union. Ketterer Kunst is a specialist for German art, as well as for many international artist who are sought-after on the European market and who regularly realize record prices at Ketterer Kunst. According to the annual 2021 artprice database, Ketterer Kunst is the only and best-selling family business represented in the global Top 15.

Client information:

Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 Munich, Germany
phone: +49-(0)55244-0 / fax: -177

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Source: © Ketterer Kunst Auktionen


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