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Dorotheum course set for success - 2011 - A Year of Exceptional Results
Ilya Kabakov, realized price € 754.800
Alexej Jawlensky, realized price € 593.800
Alfons Walde, realized price € 582.300
Valerio Castello, realized price € 490.300
Franz Ludwig Catel, realized price € 306.300
The comprehensive and varied international selection offered by Dorotheum, Continental Europe's largest auction house, was received with enthusiasm by art collectors from Austria and all over the globe. In 2011, Dorotheum was able to continue the series of successes of the previous year, which brought in seven million Euro for a single, record-breaking painting by Frans Franckens alone.
Pride of place among this year's top sellers went to Ilya Kabakov's allusive painting „At the University 1972“, dating to 2002 and presenting an idealised vision of Russian art history, which was sold to a telephone bidder for 754.800 Euro at the auction on 24th November 2011. In his painting, the artist, who left Russia for the Unites States in 1987, combines elements of Socialist Realism with the avant-garde formal vocabulary of Suprematism, Impressionism, and Expressionism.
Yet another Russian artist, Alexej Jawlensky, excelled in the modern art category with his 1907 „Wasserburg Landscape, with buildings and meadow“ which sold for excellent 593.000 Euro. At the same auction, on 18th Mai 2011, Alfons Walde's „Ascent“ climbed to 582.300 Euro, not mean feat for a painting found in a Danish attic. This also marks a new auction sale record for a work by this artist.
Italian modern and contemporary art proved highly sought-after, including a number of avant-garde and experimental works from the nineteen-sixties (e.g. Enrico Castellani's „Superficie bianca“, sold for 467.300, or Emilo Vedova's expressive „Ciclo 61N.8“, sold for 444.300 Euro).
Nineteenth century paintings continue to ride a strong favourable trend: The title lot of this spring auction's international selection, „Girl in Lilac Dress, with bouquet and basket of flowers“ by Eugen von Blaas, rose to an excellent final price of 280.830 Euro. Friedrich Gauermann headed the Austrian art category with views of Salzburg and Lake Attersee (€ 306.300, € 278.000) while, on 11th October 2011, Franz Ludwig Catel's evocative historical painting „Stroll through Palermo“ set a new world record at 306.300 Euro. The painting depicts prominent personages and members of the Russian imperial family surrounding the wife of Tsar Nikolai I., Alexandra Fedorowna, née Charlotte of Prussia.
Austrian art celebrated its own successes with Max Weiler's calligraphy inspired „Thrones“ from the cycle „Als alle Dinge in tiefem Schweigen lagen …“ which was sold for 128.050 Euro, or Rudolf Hausner's „Alter Billardspieler - vor ihm sein Vertrauter, persönlicher Gegner - aber hinter ihm - wer ist das?“ which reached 191.300 Euro.
Old master paintings were dominated by works originating from renowned private collections such as Valerio Castello's „Flight into Egypt“ which saw bidding climb to a round half million Euro.
Prestigious provenance, namely an association with Napoleon's wife, Josephine, helped drive up the price for a pair of vases from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin at the glass and porcelain auction on 13th October 2011. The two historically significant Brúle perfume vases decorated with vedutas of Malmaison, 1803-1813, were eventually knocked down for 455.800 Euro.
Formerly belonging to Emperor Franz Joseph's closest confidante, the actress Katharina Schratt, a Fuchsia Brooch made by the imperial & royal court jeweller Köchert became one of the highlights of the November jewellery auction, where it found a new owner for 202.800 Euro.
Other categories, such as silver, coins, wrist- and pocket watches, were likewise met with strong demand.
Martin Böhm, Dorotheum managing director, expressed his satisfaction with the successes achieved in 2011: „The current art market is very vigorous. Aiming for greater international presence was the right decision and we shall continue our efforts in this direction.“
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