Max Pechstein - Evening & Day Editions New York Monday, April 25, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Günter Krüger H256-268
    Orrel P. Reed, German expressionist art: the Robert Gore Rifkind Collection: prints, drawings, illustrated books, periodicals, posters. Exhibition Catalogue. Los Angeles: Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles, 1997.
    Stephanie Barron et al., German Expressionism 1915-1925: The Second Generation. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1988.
    Bruce Davis, German Expressionist Prints and Drawings: The Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies. Los Angeles, Calif.: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Munich, Federal Republic of Germany: Prestel, 1989, vol 1: two plates illus. in color; vol. 2: nos. 1-12, pp. 611-2.
    Stephanie Barron et al., Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1991.
    Stephanie D'Alessandro, German Expressionist Prints: The Marcia and Granvil Specks Collection, 2003, Milwaukee Art Museum, pp. 38-42.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Ann Nisenson Collection

    Ann Nisenson began collecting Pre-Columbian art and German Expressionist prints in the 1960’s from the influential Los Angeles dealers O.P. Reed, Marilyn Pink, Zeitlin & Ver Brugge on La Cienega Boulevard and Robert Light in Santa Barbara. What is especially apparent in the imagery Ann gravitated towards, and evidenced in the selection being sold at Phillips, is the theme of portraiture, figuration and narrative content. The collection is rooted in Die Brücke artists’ graphic woodcut portraits (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel and Max Pechstein) and related artists conveying their cultural essays of life and struggle in early 20th century Germany, sometimes with grander, universal themes of humanity (Otto Dix and Käthe Kollwitz). These works were acquired alongside the Modern European artists, Braque and Picasso’s works from the 1950’s and 1960’s – contemporary at the time when they bought them – but imagery which still incorporated the expressionistic influences of the earlier German artists. Ann also collected modern Latin American drawings and prints by Jose-Clemente Orozco and Rufino Tamayo.

    Eventually Ann and her husband, Aaron, shifted into collecting emerging artists in the mid-1980’s, those who were making art which mirrored and examined contemporary culture. In 1995 they began gifting that collection to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Assembled in memory of their son Michael (1943-74), the collection comprises paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs by Marina Abramovic and Ulay, Matt Mulllican, James Casebere, Jim Iserman, Peter Shelton, Enrique Chagoya, Sue Coe, Allan McCollum, Ann Hamilton, Louise Lawler, Sharon Lockhart and Cindy Sherman. As with many passionate collectors, she established friendships with dealers and artists themselves such as José Clemente Orozco and, most notably, Matt Mullican.

    Including: Title page for The Lord's Prayer; The Lord's Prayer: Our Father which art in heaven; Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debts; As we forgive our debtors; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom; And the power and the glory; For ever and ever Amen!

    Pechstein created the portfolio during a time of intense personal and social upheaval. Promising forgiveness and deliverance from evil, the Lord's Prayer resonated powerfully in postwar German society, which was saddled with war guilt, food shortages, and economic privations. Only two years earlier, he had been an instrumental figure in revolutionary artists' organizations that had agitated for social reform in Germany's newly established democracy. But like many others he quickly grew disillusioned, and, it seems, he began looking for change not through politics but through heavenly intervention. Pechstein's woodcuts contrast God's grandeur and omnipotence with his humble followers' modest lives. The artist clothed the faithful in the simple garb of Baltic fishermen, familiar to him from his repeated stays in Nidden on Prussia's easternmost border. Their masklike faces and blocky, angular bodies combine the styles of medieval German woodcuts and forms sourced from the South Pacific, which Pechstein had visited before World War I, and from Africa. MoMA website

Property from the Estate of Ann Nisenson, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara


Das Vater Unser (The Lord's Prayer)

The complete set of 12 woodcuts from the deluxe edition with extensive hand-coloring, on wove paper, with full margins,
all I. approx. 15 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (40 x 30 cm)
all S. approx. 23 3/8 x 16 1/8 in. (59.5 x 41 cm)

all sheets signed by the artist and by the printer, Fritz Voigt, in pencil, from the edition of 50 (there was also an edition of 250 without hand-coloring), published by Propyläen-Verlag, Berlin, all framed.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $81,250

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Evening & Day Editions

New York Auction 25 April 2016