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Klimt meets Kapoor - 21st - 24th May 2012: Dorotheum Auction Week, with modern and contemporary art, design, art nouveau, silver, jewellery, and watches


Max Ernst (1891 - 1976) Les jeunes et les jeux
twistent, 1964, oil on canvas,
estimate € 500.000 - 600.000,
auction 23 may 2012

Anish Kapoor (born 1954), Untitled, 2001,
stainless steel and lacquer,
estimate € 400.000 - 600.000,
auction 24 may 2012

Lucio Fontana (1899 - 1968) Concetto Spaziale-
Attese, 1968, waterspaint on canvas,
estimate € 400.000 - 600.000,
auction 24 may 2012

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Linda Cossey, 1980,
acryl and silk screen on canvas,
estimate € 200.000 - 300.000,
auction 24 may 2012

Egon Schiele (1890 - 1918), Seated female
nude, viewed from above, 1912,
gouache, watercolour, pencil on paper,
estimate € 250.000 - 320.000,
auction 23 may 2012

"Frammenti Rossi"-light object, designed by
Fernando & Humberto Campana, 2011,
for Venini, estimate € 60.000 - 70.000,
auction 22 may 2012

Otto Prutscher, Wall fountain, design ca. 1916,
estimate € 20.000 - 30.000,
auction 21 may 2012

Gustav Klimt (1862 - 1918) "Wasser serpent",
reclining nude, 1907, blue pencil on paper,
estimate € 45.000 - 60.000,
auction 23 may 2012

"Dondolo Totale"-rocking chair, designed by
Cesare Leonardi & Franca Stagi, 1969,
estimate € 7.500 - 9.500,
auction 22 may 2012

Rarely, if ever, before did Austria experience such a rich variety of fine and valuable art in one place and at one time: Highlights of modern and contemporary art, design classics, art nouveau, and silver art objects from all over Europe present themselves at the international auction week of Dorotheum Vienna from 21st - 24th May 2012. 

The top lots include major works by Max Ernst, Lucio Fontana, Anish Kapoor as well as by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, who celebrates his jubilee this year. The design auction features furniture and lamps by such renowned names as Josef Frank, Ron Arad, Andre Dubreuil or Daniel Libeskind.


Auction Week 21st - 24th May 2012:
Mon 21st May,
Wrist- and Pocket Watches 2:00 P.M.
Art Nouveau 5:00 P.M.;
Tue 22nd May,
Design 5:00 P.M. 
Wed 23rd May,
Jewellery 14 P.M., Modern Art 5:00 P.M.
Thu 24th May,
Silver 13 P.M., Contemporary Art 6:00 P.M.

Public Viewing:
from 12th May 2012

PALAIS DOROTHEUM, Wien 1, Dorotheergasse 17

Press Office:
Doris Krumpl, Tel. + 43-1-515 60-406,


Images with a twist
Modern Art Auction  23rd May 2012 and
Contemporary Art Auction, 24th May 2012

Animated, gesticular images versus abstract, contemplative surfaces - the tension between these two extremes defines many of the best known works of modern and contemporary art. „Youngsters and games go twisting” might be one way to translate the title of „Les jeunes et les jeux twistent“ by Max Ernst. The great poet of Surrealism, Dadaist who was nevertheless always one of a kind, a fascinating 'lone wolf, of recent art history. Among other things he invented the frottage technique and acted in Bunuel films. For this 1964 painting, one of this Dorotheum auction's main works, he chose a very poetic title. The image shows green lines dancing across a green and yellow surface, weaving themselves into a dynamic visual tapestry perceived as a perfect simulation of movement (€ 500,000 - 600,000).

Conversely, an untitled work by the British-Indian star artist Anish Kapoor dating to 2001, seems dominated by a focused, meditative calm. The blue surface of the curving 1,2 meter steel disc entices us to dive right in. It is a poetic-abstract work revolving around such timeless subjects as immateriality, emptiness, absence. In an interview, Kapoor once spoke about the comparable abstract pictorial vocabulary of Barnett Newman and was probably also thinking of his own work when he said: „This language of deep abstraction seems to me to be a language of an inner world. I believe that is where art comes from and what art must speak about.” (€ 400,000 - 600,000).

Among the more reductive, contemplative works, one in particular stands out: „Concetto Spaziale - Attese“ by Lucio Fontana, whose cutting technique („Tagli“) seeks to literally penetrate the space between the canvas and the world around it (€ 400,000 - 600,000). The Concetto-Spaziale variant „Teatrino“, the little theatre, features wooden elements in front of the perforated surface of the painting and thereby lends it a third dimension. On this occasion, the Dorotheum auction present a 1965 work from the series by this internationally renowned artist (€ 200,000 - 250,000). Following up on the phenomenal success of his work at the last Dorotheum contemporary art auction, Ilya Kabakov, probably the most important proponent of Moscow Conceptualism, this time presents a different version revolving around the fictional artist Charles Rosenthal for the viewing pleasure of discerning clients (€ 270,000 - 320,000). Afro Basaldella, who spent a significant part of his career in New York but was also represented at the first three "documenta" exhibitions, contributes a large-scale, gesticular painting, „Torneo“ (€ 180,000 - 250,000). Other well-known Italian artists found at the auction include Agostino Bonalumi, Tancredi, Alighiero Boetti and Fausto Melotti, sharing the limelight with such famous US names as Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol, both present with attractive examples of their work.

Even more international stars, this time "made in Austria", present themselves at the auction of modern art. Gustav Klimt, who celebrates his 150th anniversary this year, contributes a prostrate nude, a 1907 study for the oil painting „Wasserschlangen“ (water serpents). One of his earlier works, dating to 1885, presumably depicts Klimt's deceased sister „Annerl“ as a child, and was drawn from a photograph. Singular in its perfectly concise compositional vocabulary, a study by Egon Schiele shows a "seated female nude, viewed from above" from the year 1912 (€ 250,000 - 320,000).

An early work by Tamara de Lempicka, already anticipating her Art-Deco period, shows a female nude on a abstracted divan or sofa (€ 150,000 - 200,000). At this auction, Paul Klee's cheeky "Desert Bandits", estimated at 120,000 - 160,000 Euro find themselves in the congenial company of Venetian views by Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà (€ 110,000 - 140,000, € 40,000 - 60,000).


To die for
Design Auction, 22nd May 2012

To die for, or at least to lie down on, are several of the objects presented at the design auction on 22nd of May. Choices on where to do that include a curving white "Relax" rocking recliner by Verner Panton, designed in 1974, a fashionable „Rio“ lounger by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil ca. 1970, as well as an aluminium-rubber „Loop“ chair by Maarten van Severen form the nineteen-nineties. Or would you prefer a cement block of noble dimensions upholstered in pale blue leather, like the „Diapason“ by Titti Saracino and Giovanni de Lucchi, or perhaps a fifties tubular steel deck-chair of simple elegance, made by Germany's Mauser Works? 

This design auction covers the entire spectrum from an early Thonet chair for the 1885 World Fair, to a 1950s Gio Ponti floor lamp, or another one by the brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, the „Frammenti Rossi“.

What distinguishes the auction on this occasion is that the proceeds from the auction of four of the lots will go to the AIDS LIFE Society, organisers of Vienna's by now world-famous "Life Ball". These lots were commissioned for the "Austria Lounge" by the Austrian Health Ministry in 2010, during the World Conference on Aids. Light object and furniture were designed by the „Walking Chair“ group (Karl Emilio Pircher and Fidel Peugeot). Two of the rocking chairs from the lounge along with two lamps from the „Sister Blister“ series using empty pill trays, will be offered at the auction. The enormous floor lamp has been estimated at 5,000 - 7,000 Euro.


Art Nouveau Auction, 21st May 2012 

Otto Prutscher's decorative wall fountain, designed in 1916 and made by Wienerberger (€ 20,000 - 30,000) shares the limelight of the art nouveau auction on 21st May with, among many other fine examples from the period, a three-part silver tea service by Hans Bolek.


Silver Auction, 24th May 2012 

Museum-quality pieces of extreme rarity will shine at the silver auction on 24th May. One putto is depicted riding a 27cm long vermeil boar, an image going back to antiquity where the Romans imagined Diana as mounted on a boar. In this case the putto is shown brandishing a spear and probably served as decoration for hunting dinners (€ 70,000 - 90,000).


Watch Auction, 21st May 2012
Jewellery Auction, 23rd May 2012

A 1900 brilliant bracelet set with untreated sapphires would, depending on the budget, go very well with matching earrings (bracelet € 30,000 - 60,000, earrings € 8,000 - 12,000). Many other such individual items can be found at the jewellery auction on 23rd May 2012. Lovers of select wrist-watches will have a field day on 21st May, with pride of place at the watch auction going to a „The Indicator Nr. 003“, Porsche Design for Eterna (€ 55,000 - 70,000).

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