Lot 24
  • 24

Wassily Kandinsky

Estimate
800,000 - 1,200,000 USD
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Description

  • Wassily Kandinsky
  • Gedr├╝ckt
  • Signed with the monogram and dated 29 (lower left);  titled, dated 1929 and numbered 471 on the reverse
  • Oil, pen and ink on cradled board
  • 27 1/2 by 19 1/8 in.
  • 70.2 by 48.8 cm

Provenance

Rudolf Bauer, Berlin (acquired from the artist)

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (acquired from the above in 1939 and sold: Sotheby's, London, June 20, 1965, lot 36)

Frankfurter Kunst Kabinett, Hanna (acquired at the above sale)

Bekker von Rath, Frankfurt

Roman Norbert Ketterer, Campione

Private Collection (sold: Sotheby's, London, March 31, 1987, lot 55)

Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

New York, Museum of Non-Objective Painting, Art of Tomorrow,1939, no. 313, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, In Memory of Wassily Kandinsky, 1945, no. 145

Chicago, The Arts Club, Kandinsky Memorial Exhibition, 1946, no. 16

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Kandinsky Memorial Exhibition, 1946, no. 33

Circulated through the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Extended Loan Programme throughout the United States, 1955-61

Binghamton, New York, Harpur College, 1960 (on extended loan)

Literature

Will Grohmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Life and Work, New York, 1958, no. 324, illustrated p. 338

Hans K. Roethel & Jean K. Benjamin, Kandinsky, Catalogue raisonné of the oil paintings, Volume Two, 1916-1944, London, 1984, no. 915, illustrated p. 838

Condition

Very good condition. Oil on cardboard that has been mounted to a stretcher. The artist has applied paint in a scumbled manner to achieve varying density and texture throughout. Under UV light, there is no evidence of retouching. There is a hairline scratch to the board at the center right, near the edge.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Catalogue Note

The architectural precision of Kandinsky's Gedrückt exemplifies his time at the Bauhaus in 1929.  Composed with ruled lines and compass arcs, he has created an assemblage of precisely-drawn shapes that harmonize with their surrounding negative space.  Each delineated semi-circle is surrounded by an aura of exposed board and appears back-lit against the densely painted surface of the support.   Kandinsky's focus here is on the transparency and density of the elements of his composition, and how line, color and void vie for pictorial dominance in this fascinating composition.

Gedrückt once belonged to Kandinsky's fellow Der Sturm colleague Rudolf Bauer, who presumably acquired the picture directly from the artist during their years of close association.  In 1930 Bauer and Kandinsky were introduced by the artist Hilla Rebay to Irene and Solomon Guggenheim, collectors who travelled to Germany specifically to meet them and provide financial support.   When Bauer emigrated to the United States in 1939, Guggenheim took him in and gave him $300,000 in exchange for over a hundred pictures in his possession, including the present work.  That same year Guggenheim exhibited this picture in his landmark exhibition of The Art of Tomorrow at his extraordinary Museum of Non-Objective Painting, on East 54th Street, and then at the Kandinsky memorial exhibition staged by the Foundation in 1945.