• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7612

    Old Master, 19th Century, Modern & Contemporary Prints

    1 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 123

    Wenzel Hablik (1881-1934)

    Schaffende Kräfte, Itzehoe Holstein, 1909

    Price Realised  


    Wenzel Hablik (1881-1934)
    Schaffende Kräfte, Itzehoe Holstein, 1909
    the extremely rare complete portfolio of twenty etchings and twenty etched title plates, with the introductory text by the artist, from the first edition of thirty (there was also a posthumous edition of one hundred, containing only 26 plates in total), probably published by the artist, printed by Otto Felsing, Berlin, the image plates on thin Japan, each monogrammed in pencil, each within the original thin card mounts, the text plates on stiff wove, all in excellent condition, within the original linen-covered folder, with the etched title plate printed in brown on the front, the linen folder with some foxing, stains and minor wear(portfolio)
    310 x 305 mm. (overall)

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    In the tradition of the Art Nouveau Gesamtkunstwerk, Wenzel Hablik worked as a architect, designer, painter and printmaker. Unlike most Art Nouveau or Jugendstil artists, who used floral or other biomorphic forms as the basis of their designs, Hablik increasingly found inspiration in anorganic shapes, in the formation of rocks and crystalline structures, a fascination clearly expressed in Schaffende Kräfte as well as in his utopian architectural designs, which make him one of the foremost exponents of expressionist architecture.

    When Herwarth Walden, the great promoter and publisher of expressionist art, exhibited this portfolio in 1912, it was probably the first series of prints ever to be shown in his legendary gallery Der Sturm in Berlin.

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    Heinz Spielmann, Susanne Timm, Wenzel Hablik - Bestandskatalog seiner Werke im Schleswig-Holsteinischen Landesmuseum Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig, 1990, cf. no. 11-42, p. 22 ff. (ill.)