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Baselitz, Nay and Richter Lead the Charge to €3.1 Million at Lempertz Contemporary Art Evening Auction

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COLOGNE — A work by Georg Baselitz, “Frau im Fenster” (1979-1981) found itself on the top of Lempertz’s fall Contemporary Art evening auction in Cologne on Saturday, bringing in nearly double it’s high estimate (120,000 Euro) for a final gavel price of 220,000 Euro. The prime example of Baselitz’s upside down figures, which was shown in the Museum of Modern art in 1991 led the buoyant auction to a solid €3.1 Million in sales.

Baselitz was followed by Ernst Willhelm Nay who commanded a more timid 159,000 Euro from a German dealer for his 1956 painting “Mit heiterem Blau” (est. 120,000 – 140,000 Euro). Always a favorite, and member of Art + Auction’s Power 100 this year, Gerhard Richter’s “3.3.94”, made on the day of its title brought a collector from Monaco to a final bid of 116,000 Euro (est. 60,000 – 80,000). The painting was outpaced by a small watercolor by the contemporary master which nearly tripled its low estimate of 30,000 Euro to sell to a German dealer for 104,000 Euro. Marginally less successful was “Schweizer Alpen I”, a collection of five prints from 1969 which went for 27,000 Euro (est. 10,000 – 15,000 Euro).

Richter wasn’t the most unbelievable performer of the evening however. Estimated to go for a high bid of only 12,000 Euro, Antonio Calderaras’ oil on wood painting “Rettangoli e Quadati” (1959) smashed expectations thanks to ferocious bidding by a Swiss collector, landing the gavel at 71,000 Euro. Similarly vigorous was bidding by an American collector on Dieter Roth’s “Literaturwurst” (1969/1970) which flew past it’s high estimage of 15,000 Euros to a final bid of 51,000 Euro, while Joseph Beuys’ works “Der Tod und die Seele” (1952) (est. 15,00 – 18,000) went for an impressive 63,000 Euro and “Iphigenie / Titus Andronicus” (1985) (est. 7000 – 9000 Euro) found traction at 22,000 Euro.

Further Notable Results:

Hanne Darboven, “Atta Troll” (1988): 85,000 Euro (est. 80,000)

Stephan Balkenhol, “Mann in roter Hose”: 61,000 Euro (est. 40,000 – 50,000.

Günther Uecker, “Verleztes Feld. Poesie der Destruktion” (1982): 55,000 Euro (est. 50,000 – 60,000 Euro)

Günther Uecker, “Rapperswil Nr. 17” (1982): 42,700 Euro (est. 40,000 Euro)

Mattia Moretti, “Paessaggio” (1958): 51,000 Euro (est. 30,000 – 40,000 Euro)

Johann Georg Müller, “Auf einem anderen Stern” (1976 – 1977): 42,000 Euro (est. 25,000 – 30,000 Euro)

Raimund Girkes, “Weißmitte”: 35,500 Euro (est. 25,000 – 30,000 Euro)

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