Lot No. 200


Mikulas Medek *


(Prague 1926–1974)
Thirsty Angel V (Annunciation) - Bounded Angel, 1971, signed and dated Medek 71, oil, enamel on canvas, 170 x 120 cm, framed

We are grateful to Adéla Procházková for her kind assistance in cataloging this work.

Provenance:
Kunstkreis Leinfelden - acquired there by the present owner in 1972
Private Collection South Germany

Exhibited/Literature:
Kunstkreis Leinfelden, Mikulás Medek, 8 – 24 May 1970
Museum Bochum, Mikulás Medek 1926 – 1974, 11 December 1976 – 16 January 1977, Bochum 1976, cat. no. 21 (there titled Gefesselter Engel)
Pavla Pečinková, Contemporary Czech Painting, East Roseville 1993, p. 97 with b/w.-ill. (there titled The Thirsty Angel I (Annunciation) an dated 1970)
Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Mikulás Medek, 25 April - 18 August 2002 (there titled Gefesselter Engel)
National Gallery Prague, Mikulás Medek, Naked in the thorns, 11 September 2020 – 10 January 2021, Prague 2020, p.181 with col.-ill.

In a 1951 treatise, Czech artist Mikulas Medek and his partner Emila Medkova wrote that the inner image is not an autonomous product of the subconscious, but a reality "that encompasses our trembling subjects, a reality that is seen through our whole body, reality, existence, nothingness, reality of consciousness."

Over the course of his life, Mikulas Medek (1926-1974) created an oeuvre of almost 400 works, ranging from his early expressionist and, to a lesser extent, cubist works, through an approach to surrealism and existentialism, to a style leaning towards abstraction known as Informalism, before finally returning to figuration imbued with architectural morphology.

His paintings only became more widely known after the end of totalitarian communism in the Czech Republic; during his lifetime, he was - like many others - politically sanctioned and his paintings were repeatedly placed on the index of prohibited work, as they stood in "blatant contradiction to the task of art in a socialist society". For a time, churches became the only publicly accessible spaces for his art, where he created large-format altarpieces. He exhibited exclusively abroad from 1970 on. In 1971, three years before his early death due to illness, he created the painting Thirsty Angel V.

It is from a multi-part "angel" series whose head structures resemble a biomorphic microscopic cross-section of plant tissue. The crystalline-translucent structure of these metallic blue and golden red images open up the orphic associative space of a world dominated by sacred, hallucinogenic, and symbolic parables to the viewer.

They appear as kaleidoscopes of human suffering, spiritual doubt, and physical pain. However, they also show the free spirit within a mechanically bound shell that cannot be imprisoned despite its frosty environment and evoke the colourful, upward-striving stained glass windows of stone churches.

Specialist: Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers
+49 211 2107747

petra.schaepers@dorotheum.de

23.05.2024 - 18:00

Realized price: **
EUR 468,000.-
Estimate:
EUR 200,000.- to EUR 300,000.-

Mikulas Medek *


(Prague 1926–1974)
Thirsty Angel V (Annunciation) - Bounded Angel, 1971, signed and dated Medek 71, oil, enamel on canvas, 170 x 120 cm, framed

We are grateful to Adéla Procházková for her kind assistance in cataloging this work.

Provenance:
Kunstkreis Leinfelden - acquired there by the present owner in 1972
Private Collection South Germany

Exhibited/Literature:
Kunstkreis Leinfelden, Mikulás Medek, 8 – 24 May 1970
Museum Bochum, Mikulás Medek 1926 – 1974, 11 December 1976 – 16 January 1977, Bochum 1976, cat. no. 21 (there titled Gefesselter Engel)
Pavla Pečinková, Contemporary Czech Painting, East Roseville 1993, p. 97 with b/w.-ill. (there titled The Thirsty Angel I (Annunciation) an dated 1970)
Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Mikulás Medek, 25 April - 18 August 2002 (there titled Gefesselter Engel)
National Gallery Prague, Mikulás Medek, Naked in the thorns, 11 September 2020 – 10 January 2021, Prague 2020, p.181 with col.-ill.

In a 1951 treatise, Czech artist Mikulas Medek and his partner Emila Medkova wrote that the inner image is not an autonomous product of the subconscious, but a reality "that encompasses our trembling subjects, a reality that is seen through our whole body, reality, existence, nothingness, reality of consciousness."

Over the course of his life, Mikulas Medek (1926-1974) created an oeuvre of almost 400 works, ranging from his early expressionist and, to a lesser extent, cubist works, through an approach to surrealism and existentialism, to a style leaning towards abstraction known as Informalism, before finally returning to figuration imbued with architectural morphology.

His paintings only became more widely known after the end of totalitarian communism in the Czech Republic; during his lifetime, he was - like many others - politically sanctioned and his paintings were repeatedly placed on the index of prohibited work, as they stood in "blatant contradiction to the task of art in a socialist society". For a time, churches became the only publicly accessible spaces for his art, where he created large-format altarpieces. He exhibited exclusively abroad from 1970 on. In 1971, three years before his early death due to illness, he created the painting Thirsty Angel V.

It is from a multi-part "angel" series whose head structures resemble a biomorphic microscopic cross-section of plant tissue. The crystalline-translucent structure of these metallic blue and golden red images open up the orphic associative space of a world dominated by sacred, hallucinogenic, and symbolic parables to the viewer.

They appear as kaleidoscopes of human suffering, spiritual doubt, and physical pain. However, they also show the free spirit within a mechanically bound shell that cannot be imprisoned despite its frosty environment and evoke the colourful, upward-striving stained glass windows of stone churches.

Specialist: Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers Dr. Petra Maria Schäpers
+49 211 2107747

petra.schaepers@dorotheum.de


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 10.00am - 5.00pm
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: Contemporary Art I
Auction type: Saleroom auction with Live Bidding
Date: 23.05.2024 - 18:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 11.05. - 23.05.2024


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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