Gabriele Münter (1877-1962)
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Gabriele Münter (1877-1962)

Gelbes Haus mit Apfelbaum (recto); Landschaft (verso)

Gabriele Münter (1877-1962)
Gelbes Haus mit Apfelbaum (recto); Landschaft (verso)
with the Nachlass stamp (on the reverse)
oil on board
16½ x 20 in. (41.9 x 50.7 cm.)
Painted in 1910
The artist's estate.
Galerie Resch, Gauting.
Acquired from the above by the father of the present owner.
P. Lahnstein, Münter, Ettal, 1971 (illustrated pl. 15).
Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, Neuere Kunst aus württembergischen Privatbesitz, April - June 1973, no. 163.
Munich, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Gabriele Münter 1877-1962, Zeichnungen, Gemälde, Hinterglasbilder und Volkskunst aus ihrem Besitz, April - July 1977, no. 39 (illustrated p. 77).
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Gabriele Münter: Between Munich and Murnau, September - November 1980, no. 24 (illustrated p. 30); this exhibition later travelled to Princeton, University Art Museum, November 1980 - January 1981.
Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Naive and Outsider Painting from Germany and Paintings by Gabriele Münter, March - May 1983, no. 7 (illustrated p. 110).
Hamburg, Kunstverein, Gabriele Münter, April - May 1988, no. 30 (illustrated pl. XX); this exhibition later travelled to Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, June - August 1988 and Aichtal-Aich, September 1988.
Munich, Stätische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Gabriele Münter, 1877-1962, Retrospektive, July - November 1992, no. 80 (illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle, November 1992 - February 1993.
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Lot Essay

During her years in Murnau, Münter's most important artistic ambitions were focussed on her landscapes, which were the major site of her painterly experimentation and innovation. Gelbes Haus mit Apfelbaum is a benign celebration of man's relationship with nature and represents a complex fusion of influences that were channelled into her work after working with Wassily Kandinsky and Alexej Jawlensky in Murnau in 1908. The deliberately naïve simplicity of the composition reflects her interest in traditional Bavarian glass painting, whilst the heightened colouration and compressed spatial perspective indicate her familiarity with the work of the French Fauves. Through this flatness, Münter sought to capture in her paintings not the mere representation of the scene as it appears to the viewer's eyes, but rather the spirituality of nature and the artist's own subjective emotions when confronted by it. For Münter, the depiction of a simple, dignified existence of a life lead close to the land was assimilated into her conception of nature, which, in Richard Heller's analysis of her work, was 'a refuge, a place to which to escape from modern civilization, its turmoil, its social and political problems, its cities and industry, its materialism and its alienation' (R. Heller, Gabriele Münter. The Years of Expressionism, 1903-1920, Munich, 1997, p. 146). Landscape painting functioned to restore a sense of unity between humanity and nature and by placing the yellow house high on the horizon in Gelbes Haus mit Apfelbaum, Münter creates an invitingly sun drenched scene of an idyllic, utopian haven. The painting, executed in the dotted brushstrokes often used by Kandinsky at the time, is enriched by Münter's knowledge of folk art and custom, indicated by the fecundity of the apple tree, which is traditionally linked with autumn in German poetry and song.

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