World record price for Helnwein: Successful modern and contemporary art auctions at Dorotheum

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World record price for Helnwein: Successful modern and contemporary art auctions at Dorotheum
Gottfried Helnwein (born in Vienna in 1948), “Burgundy Mouse 2”, on the reverse signed and dated G Helnwein 2014 and titled Burgundy Mouse 2, oil and acrylic on canvas, 172 x 260 cm, price realised €182,000, world record price.

VIENNA.- Contemporary art at Dorotheum: the highest auction price to date for a painting by Gottfried Helnwein was achieved on 29 November 2023.

A typical “seismographic” work by the internationally renowned artist Martha Jungwirth was sold for 202.800 euros. The untitled work by the recipient of the 2021 Austrian State Prize comes from the Froh(n)berg private collection.

A Mickey Mouse titled Burgundy Mouse 2 from 2014, suggesting - in typical Helnwein manner - subtle violence beyond the ideal comic (children’s) world, achieved 182,000 euros, setting a world record price.

Dorotheum set another world record price for a work by Piero Gilardi, which found a new owner for 136,500 euros. The co-founder of Arte Povera created Sassi (Stones) in 1967, making use of synthetic resin, foam and pigment. This work was originally intended as a kind of natural carpet (Tappeto Natura).

Italian art was very popular overall. Emilio Vedova’s abstract painting Per la Spagna, Enrico Castellani’s Superficie bianca (1983) and Salvo’s La Valle sold for € 416,000, € 429,000, € 390,000, respectively.

The early pastel work Quartett by ZERO veteran Heinz Mack, created in 1965, changed hands for almost half a million euros (€ 494,000).

The day before, works from the 1920s and 1930s were especially sought-after at the Modern Art sale. A painting by Franz Sedlacek, the cover lot of the highly successful evening sale held in the newly renovated Franz-Joseph-Saal, found a new owner for 309,400 euros. The Magician and the Harlequin combines fantastical elements and New Objectivity.

The same proximity to the cool, detached visual language of that time connects Sedlacek with the German industrial painter Carl Grossberg, who trained at the Bauhaus. His untitled view of a building sold for 221,000 euros, greatly exceeded its estimate and marked the second-highest auction result for a work by this artist.

Giorgio de Chirico’s Venus painting, oscillating between antiquity and Botticelli, went to an art lover for 286,000 euros. Francis Picabia’s portrait was knocked down for 299,000 euros, far exceeding expectations.

Austrian modern art also achieved remarkable hammer prices: Alfons Walde’s typical Tyrolean motifs were once again very popular, such as his 1935 painting On the Way to Church (€ 260,000) and Tyrolean Mountain Village (€ 286,000). Two works by Gustav Klimt, a study and a drawing from the important Otto Glaser Collection, were sold for 201,500 and 130,000 euros respectively.

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