Thursday, May 28, 2015


Swiss Art
Rediscovered Symbolist work by Ferdinand Hodler

On 26 June Koller will bring to auction one of Ferdinand Hodler’s major Symbolist works, “Urkraft”. This impressive figure painting was created in the first half of 1909 and takes up the then-revolutionary theme of the “Lebensreform” cult of the body. The work was formerly acquired directly from the artist by the German philosopher and collector Eberhard Griesebach (1880-1945) and in 1942 it entered a Swiss collection. From there, it will now be offered for the first time on the art market. This well-documented painting is estimated to achieve CHF 400 000 to 500 000.

An additional top lot is presented by a rare large-format painting by August Giacometti. The 113×150 cm “Marseille II” from 1930 is impressive not only in size, but also through its captivating play of Mediterranean colours. It is estimated at CHF 350 000 and 450 000. 
Impressionist and Modern Art 

An important painting by Chagall and three Renoirs

From the “painter poet” Marc Chagall comes “La famille du pêcheur”, an oil painting composed of shades of deep blue. Produced in 1968, it has been exhibited in major Chagall retrospectives such as at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow in 1987, at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Turin in 2004 and at the Museum of Art in Seoul. It will now be presented at Koller with an estimate of CHF 2.5 to 3 million.

Three paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir will lead the selection of Impressionist works offered in the auction. 

“La Bergère” was created by the master in c.1902 and is presen-ted with an estimate of CHF 1 to 1.5 million. 

“Baigneuse assise, de dos” 

and “Bouquet d’anémones” 

both originate from 1917, and thus from the late works produced by the artist. They are estimated at CHF 180 000 to 250 000 and CHF 250 000 to 350 000. 

The auction will additionally feature a pencil drawing “Nu couché” by Pablo Picasso from the period between 1942 and 1944, estimated at CHF 180 000 to 240 000, and an ink drawing “Tête de jeune fille” by Henri Matisse from 1950, estimated at CHF 240 000 to 300 000.  

PostWar & Contemporary

Botero’s “Mother and Child” The particularly impressive top lots of the Post War and Contemporary auction include Fernando Botero’s oil painting “Mother and Child” from 2003, showing a toddler sitting on his mother’s lap. Like many of Botero’s works, this one also presents rounded bodies with exaggerated proportions, developed out of the glorification of sensuality and life. The work is estimated at CHF 340 000 to 400 000. 

Important rare works in this auction additionally include an abstracted landscape created in 1963 by Jean Fautrier in shaded whites and reds briskly applied in broad impasto brushstrokes, estimated at CHF 115 000 to 130 000, 

as well as Hans Hartung’s large-format oil painting “T1958-18”, with its swinging serrated forms lending the picture a sense of dynamic energy, estimated at CHF 325 000 to 380 000.  

Modern and Contemporary Prints 

Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol

The selection of modern prints offered in the auction includes a beautiful etching by Paul Klee. This 15×17 cm work “Komiker” from 1904 is presented with an estimate of CHF 40 000 to 50 000. 

Estimated at CHF 40 000 to 60 000, a complete portfolio of “Portraits imaginaires” by Pablo Picasso with 29 signed and dated colour lithographs after the painting series from 1969 will also be offered in the auction, in addition to the portrait “Jeune fille inspirée par Cranach”, estimated at CHF 30 000 to 40 000.

Top lots of the contemporary prints include Andy Warhol’s colour silkscreen of a Goethe portrait. It was inspired by J.H.W. Tischbein’s painting “Goethe in der römischen Campagna” which he had seen during a visit to the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. It is estimated at CHF 35 000 to 45 000