Lot 46
  • 46

Kurt Schwitters

Estimate
600,000 - 800,000 USD
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Description

  • Kurt Schwitters
  • Ohne Titel (Merzbild mit Schuhsohle)
    Untitled (Merz Picture with Shoe Sole)
  • Signed with initials KS and dated 45 (lower right)
  • Oil and relief assemblage on plywood

Provenance

Ernst Schwitters, Lysaker (by descent from the artist in 1948, until 1981)

Private Collection (acquired through Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne in 1981. Sold: Sotheby's New York, May 11, 1994, lot 40)

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Stockholm, Konstsalongen Samlaren im Konstnärshuset; Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst und Kunstforeningen; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum und Kölnischer Kunstverein & Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Kurt MERZ Schwitters. Retrospektivt, 1962-64, no. 182 (in Stockholm); no. 255 (in Cologne and Rotterdam)

Cologne, Galerie Gmurzynska, Kurt Schwitters, 1978, no. 97, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Paris, Grand Palais, FIAC, Galerie Gmurzynska, Kurt Schwitters, 1980, no. 54, illustrated in color in the catalogue

(possibly) Cologne, Museen der Stadt Köln, Westkunst. Zeitgenössische Kunst seit 1939, 1981, no. 113, illustrated in the catalogue

Cologne, Galerie Gmurzynska, Klassische Moderne, 1981, no. 181, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Madrid, Fundación Juan March & Barcelona, Fundació Joan Miró, Kurt Schwitters, 1982-83, no. 175

Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery, European Vision, 1987

Literature

Marlis Grüterich, 'Kurt Schwitters. Galerie Gmurzynska, Köln', in Kunstforum International, vol. 30, 1978, illustrated p. 220

Renato Maestri, 'ComMerzBankKurt-Schwitters. Una lezione rapsodica', in Domus, vol. 590, Milan, 1979, illustrated in color p. 47

Yusuke Nakahara, 'From the Lifeless View of Scrapping', in Bijutsu Techo, vol. 31, Tokyo, August 1979, illustrated in color

Heidi Bürklin, 'Kurt Schwitters: Vom Bürger zum Bürgerschreck', in Art. Das Kunstmagazin, vol. 10, Hamburg, 1981, illustrated in color p. 91

Ernst Nündel, Kurt Schwitters in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 1981, illustrated p. 120

Karin Orchard & Isabel Schulz, Kurt Schwitters, Catalogue raisonné, 1937-1948, vol. 3, Hanover, 2006, no. 3136, illustrated p. 455

Catalogue Note

This powerful assemblage dates from 1945, when Schwitters was living in England and continuing work on his Merz compositions.  Writing about Schwitters' late works, John Elderfield commented, "The creation of order, as much as the order itself, was the subject of what he did: the sense of competition between the artist and his surroundings that is given along with the order adds drama and excitement even to his smallest creations.  And that, as much as the order itself, carries with it the power to touch us - if only because it tells of a struggle we all must know.  For Schwitters, it was a kind of struggle that admitted no final or single victory, but had to be fought out daily as new surroundings, new styles, new influences kept on altering the context in which he worked.  Neither this nor the order to which he was committed ever changed.  The point of order he wrested from the tumult of his early revolutionary years became the ideal to which he was henceforth committed.  The fight for that order continued throughout his life" ((J. Elderfield, Kurt Schwitters, 1985, p. 240).
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