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A Winner and a ´Happy Cop´ - High appreciation for modern and contemporary art and for art nouveau at the Dorotheum Auction Week.
Banksy, Happy cop
Jörg Immendorff's bronze of a winner has every reason to raise its arms in triumph: At the Dorotheum Vienna's auction of contemporary art on 28. May 2008, one year to the day after the death of this great German artist, the sculpture sold for a 'victorious' 126.800 Euro (Cat. No. 101). In general, bidding for works by this politically active artist, whose work enjoyed a particular prominence during the nineteen-eighties and -nineties, reached high levels. At the time, Immendorff's „Cafe Deutschland“ paintings represented an entirely new form of history painting. His „Cafe Deutschland-Heuler“ featuring his characteristic ape alter ego was sold for a brilliant 40.800 Euro (Cat. No. 102), the ape sculpture „Malerstamm Anselm“ for 73.500 (Cat. No. 140).
Other German artists' stock was also on the rise that night: Günther Uecker's „Weisse Spirale“ was bid up to 156.800 Euro (White Spiral, Cat. No. 130), Imi Knoebel's untitled object was able to double its estimate with 85.700 Euro (Cat. No. 132), while „Weiße Vibration“ by the ZERO co-founder Heinz Mack exceeded expectations with 73.500 Euro (White Vibration, Cat. No. 106). An untitled large-format work by Günther Förg dating to 2000 went to a Swiss buyer for € 79.600 (Cat. No. 165).
Among the Italian artists, Giacomo Manzù's „Vescovo seduto“ (Seated Bishop) was sold for three times the original estimate, at 133.800 Euro (Cat. No. 107). John Chamberlain's painted bent-steel object „Sparkle Plenty“, reached 110.100 Euro and was knocked down to a German telephone bidder (Cat. No. 136).
The „O.T.“ object by Banksy, poster child of street art, featuring a two-meter cardboard figure of a policeman with a smiley for a face, also known as the „Happy Cop“, justified its name when it sold for 61.300 Euro, putting a smile on many a face (Cat. No. 222).
In the category of contemporary art from Austria, a "Schüttbild" from one of Hermann Nitsch's six day games („6-tage-spiel“) was not the only lot to raise a few eyebrows when it sold for 73.500 Euro (1998, Cat. No. 158).
The highlight of the modern art auction on 27. May 2008, with a winning bid of 168.300Euro, turned out to be the 1919 „Le voilier“, a painting in bright colours by the Ukrainian-born painter Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné (b. 1888), one of the stars of the French avant-garde. Apollinaire once referred to this illustrious artist as a "French Futurist" (Cat. No. 16). Egon Schiele's seated male nude of 1913 reached 133.800 Euro (Cat. No. 5), whereas Alfons Walde's "Bauernhof" and Carl Moll's Italian piazza scene sold far beyond expectations at 145.300 and 101.500Euro respectively (Cat. No. 40 Farmstead, 37).
At the art nouveau auction on 28. May 2008, a glass door and a glass window likewise sold for much more than their estimates. The decorative glass door made in Bohemia around 1900 reached 32.000 Euro( Cat. No. 164) while the bidding contest for a glass window featuring one of the Czech artist Alfons Mucha's characteristic girls finished at 17.400 Euro (Cat. No. 181). Born in 1886, in Rumania, Demetre Chiparus went on to create a number bronze and ivory sculptures of women in Paris during the nineteen-thirties, most of them depicting glamorous dancers dressed in the height of contemporary fashion. One such highly aesthetic and elegant sculpture with the title „Antinea“ was now acquired by a Russian bidder for just under 100.000 Euro (Cat. No. 265).