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Superlative Auction Opening of Anniversary Year – KANDINSKY-RECORD

06-17-2019 12:36 PM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Ketterer Kunst

Robert Ketterer realizes the new record** of ? 2.5 million* for a work by Wassily Kandinsky.

Robert Ketterer realizes the new record** of ? 2.5 million* for a work by Wassily Kandinsky.

Munich, June 8, 2019 (KK) – The seven auctions that opened the 65th Anniversary Year of Ketterer Kunst yielded total proceeds of more than € 28 million*. It is both the house's best result ever realized in a spring sale, as well as the best result of the German auction season by far. While the magic € 100,000* line was reached or crossed 44 times last spring, a total of 55 six-figure results were accomplished this time. The undisputed star of both the Evening Sale and the German Auction Season is Wassily Kandinsky. He and Andy Warhol provided the only two results in the millions for the first term of the auction year 2019 in Germany.

After the two Auctions of 19th Century Art and Rare Books had already provided excellent proceeds of more than € 3.3 million* a couple of days earlier, the Auctions of Art of the 20th/21st Century made for the brilliant finale of the first part of the Anniversary Year by grossing more than € 25 million* on June 7 and 8.

Auctioneer and company owner Robert Ketterer sums up: “This is an absolutely sensational result against the general trend.”

Top 5

Lot 128: Wassily Kandinsky – Treppe zum SchLots (Murnau). Result € 2.500.000*, calling price € 1.500.000

Lot 168: Andy Warhol – Portrait of a Lady. Result € 1.125.000*, calling price € 360.000

Lot 144: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Drehende Tänzerin. Result € 625.000*, calling price € 300.000

Lot 140: Daniel Richter – Alles ohne Nichts. Result € 500.000*, calling price € 250.000

Lot 114: Günther Uecker – Baum. Result € 500.000*, calling price € 400.000

Lot 100: Hermann Max Pechstein – Damenbildnis. Verso: Liegender Akt. Result € 437.500*, calling price € 350.000

Lot 096: Franz Marc – Zwei Pferde. Verso: Zwei stehende Mädchenakte mit grünem Stein. € 437.500* calling price: € 300.000

The lead role in both this auction as well as in the entire auction season in Germany was clearly played by Wassily Kandinsky's “Treppe zum Schloss (Murnau)“ (lot 128). A German art lover and his commission honored the important oil painting and its fascinating history with the remarkable result of € 2,500,000*. A passionate fellow collector and countryman on the phone had to admit defeat. The top result sets a new Record** for a work by Kandinsky sold in the German language region and relegates Kandinsky's previous record holder “Gewebe“, sold by Ketterer Kunst in 2014, to second place in the ranking.

Second place in the Anniversary Auction is occupied by Andy Warhol's ”Portrait of a Lady“ (Enid Beal, lot 168), which eventually soared to heights of three times the calling price of € 360,000. It took a collector from Southern Germany the final price of € 1,125,000* to halt the bidding frenzy. This way he was able to beat a competitor from the American West Coast on the phone, as well as a high commission placed by a collector from Switzerland.

That very same art lover from Southern Germany had already been quite successful when he made Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's impressive work “Drehende Tänzerin“ (lot 144) sure for himself for a result of € 625,000* against fierce competition in the saleroom and from a persistent Northern German collector on the phone. The work eventually grossed more than twice its calling price of € 300,000.

Expectations for Daniel Richter’s monumental work “Alles ohne Nichts” (lot 140) were more than met. With a result of € 500,000* it set a new Continental European Record**. No surprise, as the grand work from the trending German superstar did not only attract collectors from his home country, but also art lovers from Belgium, Holland, Austria and the USA. In the end a tough phone bidder from the Benelux-Union stood his grounds.

The array of sculptures is lead by Günther Uecker’s “Baum” (lot 114) which was sold to a collector from Baden-Württemberg for a result of € 500,000*. Works by the ZERO artist generally were in demand, and three more works were sold for six-figure prices. Number one in the trio is “Feld der Erwartungen - Hommage à Adalbert Stifter” (Los 94), which was popular with bidders from Belgium, Great Britain and Switzerland. However, an Austrian on the phone showed the most staying power by going as far as to a final price of € 412.500*. Uecker’s untitled lot number 103 found a new home in Ireland for € 212,500* while his work “Hilfe für Vietnam” (lot 162) was sold to a Bavarian online bidder for € 187,500*.

Prices of € 437,500* were realized by both Hermann Max Pechstein’s “Damenbildnis” (Luise Mendelsohn, lot 100), which has a “Liegender Akt” on its reverse side, as well as by Franz Marc’s work “Zwei Pferde” (lot 96), which boasts the nude “Zwei stehenden Mädchenakte mit grünem Stein” on verso. While the first will go to Northern Germany, the large-size India ink and charcoal drawing – the only preserved preliminary work for the destroyed painting “Streitende Pferde”!– will call a private collection in North Rhine-Westphalia its new home.

The interest in “E9” (Los 94) by the Warsaw artist Wojciech Fangor was tremendous even long before the auction. As expected, most of the 12 phone bidders came from Poland, however, they faced competition from Germany, Monaco and Liechtenstein when the intense, almost hypnotic oil painting was called up at € 100,000. In the end a Southern German private collection carried the trophy home. The result of € 400.000* did not only provide more than a three-fold of the calling price, it also set a new Continental European Record**. This way Ketterer Kunst beats its own just one year old record for a work by the artist.

Two fascinating works by Cy Twombly’s significant series “Wolkenstein” will go to Switzerland. Called up at € 180,000 each, fierce bidding against competitors from Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong and the USA doubled the calling price of both works, that is € 362,500* for lot number 137 and € 375,000* for lot 138.
The results of the five works by Ernst Wilhelm Nay offered in the Evening Sale are also quite remarkable, as four of them reached six-figure sums. While lot 134 “Lob des Grau” leads the array, it was sold to a Bavarian collection for a price of € 350.000*, the work “Frau mit Tieren” (lot 145) was sold to Austria for € 337,500*, which is a sensational six-fold of the calling price of € 55,000.

A German Record** for the oil painting “Sophie” (lot 150) by Alex Katz was set thanks to the great appeal the work had with international art lovers from Italy, Spain, Austrian and the USA. However, for a total price of € 350,000* the large-size work will remain with a private collector from Germany.

The following also realized excellent results:

Los 136, Beuys (Basaltstein), 6 Hasensteine. Calling price € 300.000, result € 362.500*
Los 135, Graubner (Mischtechnik), Ohne Titel (Kissenbild). Calling price € 100.000, result € 337.500*
Los 109, Jawlensky (Öl), Abstrakter Kopf… Calling price € 200.000, result € 312.500*
Los 178, Chamberlain (Metall), OKTETT2SHARPS. Calling price € 170.000, result € 287.500*
Los 127, Baselitz (Mischtechnik), Ohne Titel. Calling price € 90.000, result € 275.000*
Los 143, Melotti (Messing), Rondeau musical. Calling price € 75.000, result € 275.000* (German Record**)
Los 174, Cragg (Holz), Willow IICalling price € 135.000, result € 250.000*
Los 113, Warhol (Farbserigrafie), Goethe. Calling price € 135.000, result € 231.500*
Los 158, El Lissitzky (Lithografie), Plastische Gestaltung… Calling price € 120000, result € 218.750*
Los 101, Schmidt-Rottluff (Aquarell), Kühler Morgen. Calling price € 80.000, result € 200.000*
Los 146, Max Ernst (Öl), Susanne und die Alten… Calling price € 100.000, result € 187.500*
Los 164, Beckmann (Bronze), Brücke (Akrobat). Calling price € 50.000, result € 175.000*
Los 099, Kirchner (Aquarell), Strassenbild (Dresden). Calling price € 36.000, result € 162.500*
Los 170, Feininger (Aquarell), Magisches Meer. Calling price € 60.000, result € 162.500*
Los 161, Nolde (Aquarell), Schweizer Berglandschaft. Calling price € 65.000, result € 143.750*
Los 121, Alechinsky (Öl), Perdus… Calling price € 80.000, result € 125.000* (German Record**)

Objects that remained unsold in the auctions will be available in the post auction sale until August 2, 2019. Result lists are available by phone on +49-(0)89-552440.

* The result is the hammer price + 25 % buyer’s premium.
** Source for auction records:

Press inquiries:

Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 Munich, Germany
Michaela Derra M.A.
Phone: +49-(0)89-55244-152
Fax +49-(0)89-55244-177

Client inquiries:

Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)55244-444
Fax: +49-(0)55244-177

The family company Ketterer Kunst ( and, with headquarters in Munich and branches in Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Berlin and the USA, was founded in 1954. It is one of the leading European houses for auctions of Fine Art from the 19th to the 21st Century and Rare Books. The latest art market review for Fine Art 2018, compiled by, ranks Ketterer Kunst on place 16 in the global TOP 100. The auctioneer's clientele predominantly consists of international collectors, art dealers, curators and museums.

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