Auction House

Auction: Evening Sale - Contemporary Art

27. November 2023, 7:00 pm

Object overview


Fritz Wotruba*

(Wien 1907 - 1975 Wien)

„Figure I“
h. 39.5 cm, w. 14.5 cm, d. 15 cm
signed: WOTRUBA (punched)
numbered: EA III/VII (on the plinth)
posthumous casting


Erker-Galerie, St. Gallen;
since 1984 private property, Schweiz

Certificate of Authenticity by the Fritz Wotruba Privatstiftung from 2016 is enclosed.

Estimate: € 25.000 - 50.000
Result: € 31.706 (incl. fees)
Auction is closed.

With his abstract interpretation of the human figure, the sculptor Fritz Wotruba is one of the most important Austrian artistic figures of the 20th century. After an initial classical orientation, the sculptor, who was born in Vienna in 1907, found an independent language of form that combined cubist and geometric-abstract tendencies into a homogeneous synthesis. Wotruba not only occupied a central position within Austrian modernism, but also became a role model for an entire generation of artists after 1945, including Marc Adrian, Joannis Avramidis, Alfred Hrdlicka and Andreas Urteil.

This bronze sculpture with the short title “Figur I” (1961) not only impressively reflects Wotruba's experimental approach to art, but also marks him out as a great innovator of modern sculpture. He thereby uses a radical language of form that builds the standing figure vertically from cubic elements and abstracts it to the maximum. Wotruba’s intense striving for reduction and abstraction, simplicity and harmony really comes into its own here. The use of bronze also gives the sculpture a classic look and testifies to the highest quality. Whether large or small – Wotruba sought perfection in all his sculptures.

“Figur I” is listed in Otto Breicha’s catalogue raisonné of 2002 as number 243. In addition to the plaster version based on a clay model, there are also bronze casts in a limited edition. The casting book lists seven castings numbered with Arabic numerals, and eight labelled “EA”, and numbered 0/I and I/VII to VII/VII, whereby the work presented here is EA III/VII (Otto Breicha (ed.), Fritz Wotruba Werkverzeichnis. Skulpturen, Reliefs, Bühnen- und Architekturmodelle [“Fritz Wotruba catalogue raisonné. Sculptures, reliefs, stage and architectural models”], St. Gallen, p. 228, WV No. 243).

(Stefan Üner)