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Christie's Amsterdam announces Post-War and Contemporary Art Auctions at De Westergasfabriek
Karel Appel (1921-2006), La Fleur et les oiseaux (The Flower and the Birds), 1951, estimate €250,000 - 350,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2018.

AMSTERDAM.- On 22 November 2018, coinciding with the start of Amsterdam Art Weekend, Christie’s biannual Post-War and Contemporary Art auctions will go on public view at De Westgasfabriek until the auctions on 26 & 27 November. The auction boasts a superb array of German and Dutch art including highlights from artists such as Georg Baselitz and Sigmar Polke. As the sales also coincide with the 70th anniversary of the European avant-garde group Cobra a selection of work by artists such as Karel Appel, Corneille, Asger Jorn, Pierre Alechinksy will be offered in a special section of the 26 November evening auction titled: Cobra 70 Years: Creation before theory. The Cobra section will be highlighted by two major Karel Appel works from the same distinguished American collector: Tête Bleue (Blue Head, estimate €250,000 - 350,000) from 1953, an expressionistic composition, and La fleur et les oiseaux (The Flower and the Birds, estimate €250,000 - 350,000) painted in 1951, the year the Appel left Cobra and moved to Paris. The painting is an amalgamation of the artist’s practice at a crucial juncture in his career, at once anticipatory of his future work in Paris and a summation of the CoBrA ethos.

Other groups such as the Zero group are also prominently represented - including Dynamische Struktur (Dynamic Structure, 1962, estimate €200,000-300,000) by Heinz Mack. The work was exhibited in 1969 at Kunstverein, Hannover and is an example of Mack’s exploration of light, reflection and motion. Conjuring up a kinetic dynamism through reverberating lines, it exemplifies the conceptual concerns of the radical Zero group. It is presented alongside a work titled Gold und Bronze (estimate € 250,000- 350,000) by Otto Piene, Mack’s co-founder in the Zero group. It is at once illusory and inviting, and a dizzying evocation of the spatialist regard for and fascination with light, which would come to dominate the rest of Piene’s career. Jan Schoonhoven’s relief R74-6 (1974, estimate € 150,000 - 200,000) sees the artist seeking to introduce the repetitive play of light and shadow as a way of making his work immaterial. Schoonhoven was one of the founders of Nul, the Dutch equivalent of Zero – the artists were concerned with making art rooted in reality and clarity, as a reaction against the expressionist painting which had dominated post-War Europe

The sales also feature particularly strong representation of German art, with highlights from artists ranging from A.R. Penck (Norden 3 / The North 3, 1983, estimate €30,000-50,000), Günther Förg (Untitled, 1988, estimate €150,000–200,000, Sigmar Polke (Untitled, 1983, estimate €70,000-90,000) and Georg Baselitz (Sujet populaire contraire / Contrary Popular Subject, 2007, estimate €150,000–200,000).

The full catalogue can be viewed here.

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