Katharina Fritsch - Edition Schellmann: Fifty Are Better Than One London Thursday, June 6, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, pp. 116-117 and p. 407

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Between 1964 and 1966 Willem de Kooning painted a series of female figures on hollow-core wood doors, which were later exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, March 14 through May 26, 1996. The doors which de Kooning used as painting surfaces had previously been installed in his studio, however the artist was dissatisfied with them and had them replaced with sturdier doors. After the hollow-core doors had been stored in his studio for years, de Kooning decided to paint on them. The resulting works were called the Door Cycle.

    Using a door – an object charged with metaphoric values – as a painting surface seemed particularly appropriate as its measurements correspond with the human size; at the same time its appearance and dimensions represent a painter's canvas. Thinking about these formal and poetic qualities of a door, Before The Law by Franz Kafka came to mind, also works by Marcel Duchamp (door of Etant donnes, 1948-50) and Joseph Beuys (Door, 1854/56).

    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 ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, p. 406

    "The theme of Katharina Fritsch's artistic work is questioning the reality of objects, commodities, and motifs which we can perceive every day and which are simultaneously subjected to a collective code of identification. In her encyclopedic drawings (Lecikonzeichnungen, from 1996 on), Fritsch has been investigating about the reproduction and its tradition. These lexical images exist as part of our standard or collective memory, transformed by the artist into meta drawings by isolation, magnification, and framing ... It becomes evident that the images depicted in these two door panels are not just those of human beings, of man as such, merely they reflect the ideological and educational background of their origin."

    - Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, p. 117


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

Screenprint on both sides 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 annotated 'AC' in blue ink on the accompanying label (an 'archive copy', the edition was 15 and 3 artist's proofs), published by Edition Schellmann, Munich and New York.

£6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for £10,000

Contact Specialist

Anne Schneider-Wilson

Head of Sale, Senior Specialist 
+44 207 4042

Edition Schellmann: Fifty Are Better Than One

London Auction 6 June 2019