Katharina Fritsch - Evening & Day Editions London Wednesday, January 17, 2024 | Phillips
  • “I find the play between reality and apparition very interesting... I think my work moves back and forth between these two poles.”The sculptor Katharina Fritsch is acclaimed for her works that blur reality with the uncanny, giving solid form to the visionary and fantastic. In her series Lexikonzeichnungen, or Lexicon Drawings, she found inspiration in a 1935 edition of the Duden pictorial lexicon. The encyclopaedic volume presents an expansive range of subjects, from fairy tales to body parts, categorised and illustrated with cartoonish, standardised line drawings. “I was interested in this kind of standard drawing,” Fritsch says. “What is a drawing? For me a drawing is first of all a sheet of white paper with black lines on it that represent something... a strong, firmly fixed world order.... That is the second plane of these drawings for me: black lines on a white background... representing a completely intangible illusion.” In Lexikonzeichnung (2. Serie: Mensch), a screenprint on a wooden door, Fritsch isolates and magnifies the lexicon’s anatomical drawings. Entirely decontextualised and imbued with sculptural presence, Lexikonzeichnung (2. Serie: Mensch) unravels the educational underpinnings of the lexicon and prompts viewers to reconsider the boundary between reality and illusion.


    Der Größe Duden Bildwörterbuch, 1935, Taf. 2-3

    Jörg Schellmann was inspired to commission Door Cycle after he saw Willem de Kooning’s project by the same name exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1996. Schellmann considered the formal and poetic qualities of the door, such as its metaphoric values, its measurements corresponding to a human’s general size, and its appearance and dimensions representing a canvas. He concluded that the door would be a fitting starting point for artists to make editioned works with, so he invited a range of artists, such as Olafur Eliasson, Sarah Morris and Anish Kapoor, to create works on prefabricated hollow-core doors, resulting in the Door Cycle, 2006.

    “With its flat, empty surface, light weight and painting-size, the mass-produced door panel seemed to be an appropriate contemporary product to make work in editions with. After two years of consideration, Edition Schellmann invited a group of artists to create works of art on prefabricated hollow-core doors. The 16 works that resulted – painting, object, silkscreen, sculpture, relief, and other techniques, on wood, glass, steel and even paper – were produced in editions of 15.”
    —Jörg Schellmann

    • Provenance

      Personal copy of the publisher and part of the Archive of Edition Schellmann since time of publication

    • Literature

      Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, pp. 116-117 and p. 407
      ars publicata, Katharina Fritsch Editions, 2006.04

Works from the Archive of Edition Schellmann to benefit the Ars Publicata Project


Lot offered with No Reserve

Lexikonzeichnung (2. Serie: Mensch) [Lexicon Drawing (2nd Series: Human)], from Door Cycle

Two screenprints, one on each side of a white Amphibolin primed wooden door panel.
200 x 90 x 4 cm (78 3/4 x 35 3/8 x 1 5/8 in.)
Signed and numbered 8/15 in blue ink on the accompanying label (there were also 3 artist's proofs), published by Edition Schellmann, Munich and New York.

Full Cataloguing

£2,000 - 3,000 •‡♠

Sold for £2,159

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Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 17 - 18 January 2024