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    Sale 7600

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 432

    William Wauer (German, 1866-1962)

    Herwarth Walden

    Price Realised  


    William Wauer (German, 1866-1962)
    Herwarth Walden
    signed and stamped with the foundry mark 'W.WAUER W.FÜSSEL BERLIN' (on the left side); numbered '7/7' (on the inside of the base)
    bronze with black patina
    Height: 20½ in. (52 cm.)
    Conceived in 1917; this version cast in a numbered edition of seven plus one hors commerce

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    Herwarth Walden, brilliantly characterised by the present sculpture in a fusion of Expressionist angular forms, dissected Cubist planes and dynamic Futurist lines, was one of the most important proponents of the early 20th Century avant-garde in the years 1910 to 1930. As patron, publisher and director of the ground-breaking Galerie Der Sturm in Berlin, he provided young artists, such as Chagall and Kandinsky, with a platform to showcase their new, daring creations. In 1911, he formed a close friendship with sculptor, painter and illustrator, William Wauer, whom he described as having 'created absolute sculpture', having 'resolved the problem of forming reality in an immediately plastic fashion, that is, without imitating nature' (quoted in exh. cat. German Expressionism 1915 - 1925. The Second Generation, Munich, 1990, p. 238). The friendship between the two men led to their collaboration on the book Expressionismus. Die Kunstwende published in 1918, for which Wauer illustrated the cover, designs for which are offered at Christie's London sale of Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper, 25 June 2008, lot 361.

    A polymath, Wauer studied in Dresden, Berlin and Liepzig. Initially an art critic for the journal XX Jahrhundert, he also worked as an editor and later as a stage director. Indeed, his friendship with Walden was initiated when he directed Walden's pantomime Die vier Toten der Fiametta in 1911. However, soon he diverted all creative energy into sculpture and exhibited regularly at Galerie Der Sturm from 1918 onwards. He articulated his approach to his creative process as follows: 'Like all artists, I naturally give form to my "ideal man", I wish him to be true to his essence through his physiological substance. I want him, freed of everything human-all-too-human, to be totally charged with the rhythms of the task assigned to his being. The artistic means I employ are the most primitive, most spare, and most direct ones I consider necessary. This is how my form came to be; it concerns itself more with the inner than exterior person' (quoted in op. cit., p. 238).

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    The artist's estate.
    Carl László, Basel.
    Kunsthandel von Bartha, Basel.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.
    On loan to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, since 1995.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Herwarth Walden (ed.), Expressionismus, Die Kunstwende, Berlin, 1918 (another cast illustrated p. 101).
    C. László, William Wauer, Basel, 1979 (another cast illustrated p. 9).
    G. Brühl, Herwarth Walden und "Der Sturm", Cologne, 1983 (another cast illustrated p. 55, fig. 62).
    P. H. Feist, Figur und Objekt, Plastik im 20. Jahrhundert, Leipzig, 1996 (another cast illustrated p. 43).
    U. Peters & A. Legde, Kulturgeschichtliche Spaziergänge im Germanischen Nationalmuseum, Moderne Zeiten, die Sammlung zum 20.Jahrhundert, vol. III, Nuremberg, 2000 (this cast illustrated p. 63).
    K. Drenker-Nagels, 'William Wauer, Ein massgeblicher Künstler der "Sturm" Bewegung', in Weltkunst, August 2001, no. 2 (another cast illustrated p. 1277).


    Altenburg, Lindenau-Museum, Internationale Sprachen der Kunst: Gemälde, Zeichnungen und Skulpturen der Klassischen Moderne aus der Sammlung Hoh, August - October 1998, no. 86 (illustrated p. 229); this exhibition later travelled to Osnabrück, Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall and Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
    Lisbon, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, Avant-Garde Dialogues, 2006, no. 107.