RELEASE: SWISS ART: MASTERPIECES OF SWISS ART FROM 1800 TO 2010

Zürich

Swiss Art, 7 June 2010 
Kunsthaus Zurich (Grand auditorium)

Christie’s 2010 Swiss Art sale presents 226 lots of exquisite Swiss art dating from the early 19th century up until the present day, ranging from classics including Ferdinand Hodler, Giovanni Giacometti and Félix Vallotton to young contemporaries such as Pippilotti Rist, Christoph Büchel and Loredana Sperini. Estimates range from SFr 3,000  for the small scale painting, Irgendeine Szene in der Welt B/Any scene in the world B (2010) by the young Swiss-born Patrick Graf  to SFr 2.5 million for the top lot by Ferdinand Hodler; Genfersee mit Jura / Lake Geneva with Jura (1911), formerly owned by the Zurich based entrepreneur and collector, Fritz Meyer-Fierz (1847-1917).

Charity sale –  25 Years Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

The sale on 7 June 2010 will kick off with a Charity sale to benefit the internationally acclaimed exhibition space Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. 25 of approximately 400 artists who have been exhibiting at the Kunst Halle over the past 25 years have donated 26 artworks and these will be offered without reserve. Christie's is pleased to support the Charity sale by adding no premium to the hammer price. All proceeds will go to the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen Foundation, which supports contemporary art projects, and their long-term goal to build a Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen collection.

Lot 128 - Hodler’s Genfersee mit Jura/Lake Geneva with Jura

Christie’s Swiss Art Sale will be led by Ferdinand Hodler’s landscape Genfersee mit Jura/Lake Geneva with Jura, one of 13 variations of the subject executed by Hodler in 1911. The small-scale SFr 2.5 -3.5 million painting was formerly owned by the Zurich entrepreneur and collector, Fritz Meyer-Fierz (1847-1917), whose collection included more than 20 Hodler landscapes and outstanding works by Vincent van Gogh, such as White house at night, one of the center pieces of the Petersburg Hermitage.

Also by Ferdinand Hodler is the SFr 1.2-1.8 million painting Tanne am Bach/Fir at a stream, one of three variations of the subject that Hodler painted during his stay at the Bernese Oberland in 1910.  The larger version was formerly owned by the Basel entrepreneur Max Geldner, whilst the other has been housed in the Foundation Saner in Studen since 1975. Amongst the further Hodler highlights in the sale is the only one of the five portraits of General Ulrich Wille (1915) which is still in private hands (estimate: SFr 600.000-800.00); Liegender Frauenakt/Reclining Nude (circa 1888/89), depicting the young model Hélène Weiglé, whose portrait of the same year forms part of the Frankfurt Städel collection (estimate: SFr 500.000-700.000), as well as Ölstudie Der Auserwählte /Study in oil for The Chosen One painted by Hodler in preparation of the Kunstmuseum Bern’s monumental painting, The Chosen One.

Lot 120 – A testimony to Giacometti’s inspiration of Vincent van Gogh

Der Nussbaum/The walnut tree (1908) is a testimony to the influence of Vincent van Gogh’s oeuvre on Giovanni Giacometti. In 1908, the same year that Der Nussbaum was executed, a selection of works by Giacometti were exhibited alongside 40 paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the Kunsthaus Zürich. Der Nussbaum shows Giacometti’s wife Annetta and her cousin Augustina Baldini von Borgonovo, sitting under the walnut tree in the family’s garden in Stampa. Der Nussbaum will be offered for SFr 1.200.000-1.800.000.

Lot 119 – Previously unseen: Mutter und Kind /Mother and child by Giovanni Giacometti

Not far from the walnut tree in the Stampa garden stood an elderflower tree and this forms the background to the portrait of Annetta and her youngest son, Bruno, in Mutter und Kind / Mother and child (1911). The painting relates to the early family portrait, Maternité (1908), which was sold at Christie’s in Zurich for a record price of SFr 3,240,000 in December 2008. Mutter und Kind/Mother and child (1911) was previously owned by the Swiss philosopher and theologist, Fritz Medicus (1876-1956), and has remained in the family until today. It has never been publicly exhibited and will be offered for SFr 250.000-350.000.

Lot 151 – Félix Vallotton’s admiration of the Brittany coastline

At the end of August 1917, Félix Vallotton spent six days in Brittany. Once back in Paris, the artist created thirteen landscapes in his studio, which are based on sketches from his stay. The resulting works, of which Rade de Ploumanach (1917) (estimate: SFr 800,000-1,200,000) is a fine example, rank among Vallotton’s strongest paintings, according to Marina Ducrey; the author of the Vallotton catalogue raisonné. 

Lot 92 – Owned by one family for nearly a century: Amiet’s Nelken und Ranunkeln

From Cuno Amiet’s early period we know of just a handful of still lifes. Only around 1907-08, when Amiet’s preoccupation with the work of Vincent van Gogh reached its high point, did the artist create a larger series. From this period comes the still life, Nelken und Ranunkeln vor Kachelofen (estimate: SFr 250,000 - 350,000). The painting was purchased directly from the artist and until today has remained in the possession of the same family.

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E-catalogue:

Behind the scenes: Interview with Hans-Peter Keller, Head of Swiss Art

Viewing Swiss Art - Kunsthaus Zurich (Grand auditorium)
Friday, 4 June 2010, 2-6 p.m.
Saturday, 5 June 2010, 10-6 p.m.
Sunday, 6 June 2010, 10-6 p.m.

Auction Swiss Art - Kunsthaus Zurich (Grand auditorium)
Monday, 7 June 2010, 6 p.m.

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