PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED EUROPEAN COLLECTION
The arch of a large glass cafe window in the background shelters a lively interior scene. Round tables tilt towards the viewer, surrounded by dark-suited gentlemen. Women, identifiable as prostitutes by their elaborate hats, hold the men’s attention. On the street outside, three figures parade across the foreground of the composition. At left, a black-hatted prostitute in a pink dress looks to the right, towards a second figure in an angular black dress walking a large dog. The women’s bodies sway towards one another. Her dog seems to nuzzle the hand of a man, at right, the man’s top-hatted head inclined towards the animal. The caustic pink colour both picks out the forms and obscures the black lines. It is a scene of pointed looks and cacophonous interactions, between the figures themselves and the lines and forms that depict them.
Schiefler knew of no states of this print and records seven impressions in total. Dube cites three states, the first with looser lines, the second and third with progressively denser work. The first state exists in just one, hand coloured, impression. Gercken revises Dube, stipulating that the darker corners of Dube’s third state are simple variations in printing of the second (now final) state. Of the five impressions of the final state, printed in black and pink, three are held in public collections: The British Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago (Gift of the Gecht Family, 2015), and the Coninx Stiftung, Zurich. There also exists one impression of the second state, printed only in black, and, like this coloured impression, also previously in the collection of Ernesto Blohm, Caracas.
Owing to the experimental nature of Kirchner’s printing techniques and the individuality of each hand-pulled print, each impression has a unique quality.
We are grateful to Professor Dr. Gunther Gercken for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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