123rd Art Auction – Impressionist & Modern Art

Rudolf Wacker (1893 – 1939)
Portrait of my mother (in the age of 72)

It is but few painters by whom a portrait of an old woman, with all its allusions to beauty’s ephemeral quality, can elicit such enthusiasm as did this painting by Rudolf Wacker, who hailed from Vorarlberg. Wacker’s portrait of his mother ended up being the TOP LOT of the evening, with the price it fetched confirming its art-historical significance! Following a number of further notable results that all exceeded € 200,000, this evening—with a full house and high temperatures—concluded with outstanding totals sales of around € 3 million / € 3.8 million.

TOP LOT: Rudolf WACKER, My Mother, 1926

It was in 1926—the year that saw this young painter turn away from a pointedly expressive mode of painting in favour of a more reserved “objectivity” – that this portrait of Wacker’s mother was created. He expresses his great love for her by way of consummately calm brushstrokes and sensitively nuanced colours, thus conveying in touching depth the bare essence of a life full of hard work. This is a painting of outstanding importance among the portraiture of the New Objectivity movement, a fact that was confirmed by its fantastic rise in price to € 290,000 / € 365,400!

Franz SEDLACEK, Six Watercolours, 1925

An especially “poetic” melange of imagination and humour, painterly perfection and substantive grotesqueness characterises a group of six watercolours that were first offered individually and then as a group. The winning bid totalled € 220,000 / € 277,200, entailing a sensational per-sheet price and enabling this set of six watercolours to go abroad as a single group and once again make their home together!

Alfons WALDE, Houses in the Mountains

Two bidders tenaciously battled it out for this relatively rare motif by Walde with its dramatic perspective, which ultimately went to an Austrian collection for € 220,000 / € 277,200.

Egon SCHIELE, Drawings

With her arms raised and breasts bared, Schiele’s young woman of 1914 surely understood the art of seduction, an impression that helped this drawing’s price shoot up from € 100,000 to € 170,000 / € 214,200! What’s more, the artist’s interesting perspective on a crouching girl likewise exceeded its starting price to eventually fetch € 115,000 / € 144,900!

Werner Berg, After the thunderstorm

Werner BERG’s magical but restrained transfigurations of our world were hotly contested by collectors this time around, as well. At this anything-but-cool auction, Begs stormy atmosphere rose to the steaming-hot price of € 95,000 / € 119,700, while the magnificently colourful symphony of his hollyhocks ultimately fetched € 90,000 / € 113,400!


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