GUSTAV KLIMT: Achievement through agreement
In around 1898, Gustav KLIMT made six impressively beautiful portraits of women using coloured pastel chalk and pencil on paper. They do not depict any specific persons; rather, the portraits present different types of femininity that Klimt explored in an exceedingly subtle manner. Created only shortly after the founding of the Secession, they convey a decisive turning point that Klimt initiated in the perception of human beings in art.
The history of these artworks, however, reads like an adventurous journey with a happy ending. They were initially acquired by the sanatorium owner Anton Löw, who gave them to his daughter Gertrude (Gerta) as a dowry for her first marriage. In 1912 she remarried, this time the industrialist Elemér von Felsöványi and had to flee to the US in 1939 to escape Nazi persecution. However, she left all of her assets behind with an acquaintance in Vienna, who promised to forward them to her. But in 1941 the acquaintance sold the drawings to Klimt’s son Gustav Ucicky, a successful director of Nazi propaganda films. They then disappeared without a trace until 2013, when Ucicky’s widow transferred the drawings to the Klimt Foundation with the mandate that a settlement be reached with the heirs of Greta Felsöványi. The Auktionshaus im Kinsky is now pleased to be able to offer two of these artworks, also known as the “Lovely Viennese Girls”, at its June auction, a gratifying example of a successfully executed private restitution. For some twenty years now the Auktionshaus has been successfully dealing with these difficult and complex problems, acting as brokers, appraisers, and official experts to negotiate solutions that are fair to all concerned and to resolve legally and morally problematic situations.
To complement this rediscovered work, Kinsky will offer another Klimt drawing as well from an old Austrian private collection: a study for the 1907 composition “The Girlfriends I”, whose corresponding painting is also found in the Klimt Foundation.
ALFRED KUBIN: The world of the artist
The passion of a Salzburg collector led to one of the largest private collections of works by Alfred KUBIN. This group of some 150 drawings, graphics, and gouaches, offered at a low estimate price, represents a rare selection from various creative periods of this extraordinary artist.
FRANZ SEDLACEK: Nothing but fog
One of Franz SEDLACEK’s early oil paintings, which comes from an old American collection, will be featured at this auction. The wonderful depiction of a man looking out over a sea of fog is typical for Sedlacek: a reminiscence of Caspar David Friedrich and Romanticism that is as caricaturing as it is enigmatic and one of the few very well-preserved examples from the early 1920s.
COLLECTION of the KÜNSTLERHAUS
No art institution has accompanied and supported Austrian art since 1860 in such a sustained and intensive manner as Vienna’s Künstlerhaus (founded as the Fine Arts Association of Vienna). It is thus no wonder that over the years a considerable number of artworks accumulated here that have been stored as a kind of deposit for various of the association’s expenditures and projects. To ensure the continued existence of the association, the collection of artworks from the first half of the twentieth century will be brought to auction at Kinsky, including a one-of-a-kind group of eleven targets from the Künstlerhaus Marksmen’s Guild of 1924!
George MINNE: A wizard of sculpture
Androgynous youths in enraptured poses and spiritualized creatures cast in bronze characterize the sculptural work of the Belgian artist Georges MINNE. For Vienna’s Secessionists he was a celebrated paragon and pioneer in creating a new image of humanity. In June, collectors can choose from an unusually broad selection of sculptures in bronze or plaster, including the Small Bathing Boy and the Large Kneeling Youth, from two important private collections, one directly from the estate of the artist himself!
17th June 2019: Impressionist, Modern Art & Art Nouveau
18th June 2019: Contemporary Art
Catalogue order: +43 1 532 42 00 or online