Vente: 514 / Evening Sale 11 décembre 2020 à Munich Lot 250

 

250
Wladimir Georgiewitsch von Bechtejeff
Zirkusszene, Um 1910.
Oil on board, laminated on canvas
Estimation:
€ 140,000 / $ 162,400
Résultat:
€ 387,500 / $ 449.499

(25% frais d'adjudication compris)
Zirkusszene. Um 1910.
Oil on board, laminated on canvas.
Lower left monogrammed (in a triangle). 49.5 x 73 cm (19.4 x 28.7 in).

• One of the marvelous expressionist figure compositions from the artist's best period of creation.
• Around 1910 Bechtejeff was part of the European avant-garde in the immediate surroundings of the "Blaue Reiter".
• Part of the grand exhibition "Der Blaue Reiter und das Neue Bild 1909-1912. Von der 'Neuen Künstlervereinigung München' zum 'Blauen Reiter'" at Lenbachhaus in Munich.
• Comparable works by Bechtejeff from this key period are at, among others, the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, and the Lenbachhaus, Munich
.

PROVENANCE: Charles Henry Kleemann, Höhenschäftlarn near Munich.
Private collection Northern Germany (from 1992 to 2007, Villa Grisebach, November 27, 1992 - Ketterer Kunst, December 5, .2007).
Private collection (since 2007).

EXHIBITION: Der Blaue Reiter und das Neue Bild 1909-1912. Von der "Neuen Künstlervereinigung München" zum "Blauen Reiter", Städtische Galerie at Lenbachhaus, Munich, July 2 - October 3, 1999, p. 349, cat. no. 210, with full-page color plate 136.

LITERATURE: Cf. Das Neue Bild. Veröffentlichung der Neuen Künstlervereinigung/München, text by Otto Fischer, Munich 1912.
Villa Grisebach, Berlin, auction 27, November 27, 1992, lot no. 13, with illu.
Ketterer Kunst, Munich, auction 330, December 5, 2007, lot no. 120, with illu.
"Until 1914 Bechtejeff's works were shown all over Germany and were acquired by museums; in Otto Fischer's book about the 'Neue Künstlervereinigung München' from 1912 he is represented with a remarkable number of six images. Alexej von Jawlensky saw him as a natural, Franz Marc regarded him as sensitive and his monumental painting [..] as innovative."
J. Hahl-Fontaine, in: Wladimir von Bechtejeff 1878-1971. Wiederentdeckt!, Bonn 2018, p. 17.

At the advice of Alexej von Jawlensky, the Russian painter Wladimir von Bechtejeff, who today is reassessed as a rediscovery in the circle of the "Blaue Reiter", came to Munich to study painting at the beginning of the 20th century. Shortly thereafter, however, he went to Paris for three years, from where he returned to Munich in 1909 and joined the newly founded "Neue Künstlervereinigung München" ("N.K.V.M."), with Kandinsky, Jawlensky, Münter and Werefkin as founding members, and therefore understood as a kind of nucleus of the "Blaue Reiter" founded two years later. In the group’s founding pamphlet Kandinsky formulated the the impressions of an inner world of experience and in a formal language freed from the requirements of reality as common artistic goal. Bechtejeff showed works in the first exhibition of the Neue Künstlervereinigung at GalerieThannhauser in December 1909 Gallery. The exhibition was met with strong hostilityfrom both the press and the public because of its "colorist orgies". Franz Marc commented on the public's lack of understanding at the time as follows: "The press vented all its anger against the exhibition, the public scolded, threatened, spit .. atthe pictures. I am happy to admit that our pictures, in contrast to the official> Secession < andthe silent "Scholle" workshad to comelike a bombshelland that the stirwas natural. " Bechtejeff also showed his impressive figure scenes from this important creative phase, which today inspire in a special way with their peculiar mixture of an elongated, almost mannerist language of form and cubist elements inthe second and third exhibition of the "N.K.V.M." in 1910 and 1911. In addition to its elongated female figures, the horse also plays a central role in Bechtejeff's compositions of these years, which with its long, curved neck and tail fits particularly harmoniously and expressively into Bechtejeff's characteristic language of form.

In 1909 Bechtejeff participated in the exhibition with "Amazonenschlacht” (around 1909; Bavarian State Painting Collection, Munich) and in 1911 with "Diana auf der Jagd" (around 1911, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart) and "Reiter am Fluß" (around 1911, Von the Heydt Museum, Wuppertal). In our "circus scene", which was created around the same time and which still breathes the spirit of Bechtejeff's Parisian years, the exalted posture of the horse's body becomes the composition’s keydesign element. The horses kneelingin front of the artist are an almost ornamental part of the arena. Our unique motif is committed to the famous Parisian life. It is the French Impressionists who depictedthe new bourgeois pleasures in theirpictures. Theaters, cafés, variety stages - above all the Moulin Rouge -, racing fields and circus arenas become the scenes of social life and provide the motifs of contemporary art. Bechtejeff saw and internalized all of these topics during his time in Paris. He usedthese impressions in the painting "Zirkusszene" for an outstanding expressionist composition. He presents the bodies of the blue-black horses with their typical ornamental lines, theirsuppleness and elegance correspond to that of the trainer. Franz Marc, also a member of the "N.K.V.M.", was intensively occupied with depictions of animals during these years, which might also have influencedBechtejeff. While Marc was looking for thethe primal in his animal pictures, the animals in Bechtejeff are a vital part of the orchestration and merge with the human being to create an artificial overall impression that still emanates the Parisian spirit.

The third exhibition of the "N.K.V.M." at which Bechtejeff was represented was shown from December 1911 to January 1912 parallel to the first exhibition of the editorial staff of ‘Der Blaue Reiter’ atthe Munich gallery Thannhauser. In October 1912, the new Kunstsalon Hans Goltz opened on Odeonsplatz with a comprehensiveoverview exhibition of new art, which included works by Bechtejeff along with French art from Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Braque, the artists of the newly founded "Blaue Reiter" Kandinsky, Marc and Münter, as well as by artists of the "Brücke". In the years before the First World War, Bechtejeff's art was a vital part of the European vanguard and it is thus little surprising that he finally turned his back on the "N.K.V.M." in 1912. Along with Jawlensky he protested against a journalistic attack by the group on abstract painting. It is also not surprising at all that Bechtejeff was represented at Herwarth Walden's legendary "ErsterdeutscherHerbstsalon" (First German Autumn Salon)in Berlin in 1913, one of the most important vanguard exhibitions before the First World War, with four paintings alongside the artists of the "Blaue Reiter".
With the beginning of the First World War, Bechtejeff's artistic development abruptly ended. He returned to Russia and was immediately drafted into military service. After the war Bechtejeff at first worked in the Moscow Commission for the Protection of Monuments and then in 1921/22 as a set designer, later as the design director ofthe Moscow State Circus. In his later workshe devoted himself to the watercolor and gouache technique in addition to oil painting. The whereabouts of Bechtejeff's artistic oeuvre is unfortunately largely unknown today. Most of the well-known paintings from his early expressionist periodare partof major public collections today; especially the Lenbachhaus in Munich is in possession of some paintings from Bechtejeff's important time in Munich. [JS]



250
Wladimir Georgiewitsch von Bechtejeff
Zirkusszene, Um 1910.
Oil on board, laminated on canvas
Estimation:
€ 140,000 / $ 162,400
Résultat:
€ 387,500 / $ 449.499

(25% frais d'adjudication compris)