401
401

PROPERTY FROM THE LATERMAN COLLECTION

Gabriele Münter
GARTENTOERL (GARDEN GATE)
Estimate
350,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 675,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
401

PROPERTY FROM THE LATERMAN COLLECTION

Gabriele Münter
GARTENTOERL (GARDEN GATE)
Estimate
350,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 675,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Gabriele Münter
1877 - 1962
GARTENTOERL (GARDEN GATE)
Signed Münter (lower left)
Oil on board
13 by 17 3/4 in.
33.1 by 45.1 cm
Painted in 1912.
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Provenance

Estate of the artist
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York (acquired from the above by 1964)
Madeleine & Bernard Kreisler, Greenwich
Private Collection, United States (by descent from the above in 1976 and sold: Christie's, New York, November 5, 2003, lot 252)
Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

New York, Leonard Hutton Galleries, Gabriele Munter, Murnau to Stockholm, 1908-1917, 1961, no. 36
New York, Leonard Hutton Galleries, Der Blaue Reiter, 1963, no. 50 (titled Kandinsky in the Garden)
New Orleans, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Art for a New Building, 1993, illustrated on the cover of the catalogue & on extended loan (after circa 1976)

Catalogue Note

After many years traveling throughout Europe with her companion Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter returned with him to Munich in late 1908 and thereafter discovered the enchanting village of Murnau. The picturesque countryside around Murnau, with the alpine peaks in the background, provided the artist with a new source of inspiration and an ideal opportunity to paint outdoors; landscapes were Münter's favorite subject, and she returned to imagery of this particular setting several times throughout her career. The present work, Gartentoerl, is an intimate depiction of the garden she shared with Kandinsky in Murnau. Here she shows him working in the grass next to a vivid blue fence, much like the images Kandinsky depicted of Münter painting en plein air (see fig. 1).

In December 1941 the artist wrote in her diary: "Still life is [like] the piano—landscape is the orchestra" (quoted in Gabriele Münter, The Years of Expressionism 1903-1920 (exhibition catalogue), Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, 1998-99, p. 127). In Murnau, Münter and Kandinsky were also fascinated by the local tradition of Hinterglasmalerei (glass painting) which they discovered in the small town, and both artists experimented extensively with this medium. Münter's response to the jewel-like luminosity, simplified forms and fresh naïveté of this folk-art is particularly evident in works such as the present landscape.

Gartentoerl is a wonderful early example of Münter's explorations of color and texture and it provides evidence of the significant role she would play in the evolution of art in the decade that followed. Kandinsky and Münter together with fellow artists such as Alexej von Jawlensky, Franz Marc and August Macke founded the avant-garde movement Der Blaue Reiter in Munich. As is apparent in the present work, the group sought to liberate painting from the literal, figurative image of the world in order to reach a symbolic dimension, which unified man with the forces of nature, creating a universal, harmonious balance. Franz Marc explained: "Nature glows in our pictures as in every form of art. Nature is everywhere, in us and outside us; there is only one thing that is not altogether nature, but rather the overcoming and interpreting of nature: art. Art always has been and is in its very essence the boldest departure from nature and 'naturalness'. It is the bridge into the spirit world" (quoted in Peter Selz, German Expressionist Painting, Berkeley, 1974, p. 210). 

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York