Hermann Max Pechstein (1881-1955)
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Hermann Max Pechstein (1881-1955)

Abendwolken

Details
Hermann Max Pechstein (1881-1955)
Abendwolken
signed 'HMPechstein' (lower right); inscribed 'Abendwolken' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
31½ x 39½ in. (80 x 100.2 cm.)
Painted circa 1922
Provenance
Dr Herbert Tannenbaum, Mannheim.
Private collection, Germany, by whom acquired from the above in 1936, and thence by descent to the present owner.
Literature
A. Soika, Max Pechstein, Das Werkverzeichnis der Ölgemälde, vol. II, 1919-1954, Munich, 2011, no. 1922/41, p. 282 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Mannheim, Reiss-Engelhorn Museen der Stadt, Fur die Kunst! Herbert Tannenbaum und sein Kunsthaus, September 1994 - January 1995, no. 247 (illustrated p. 110).
Mannheim, Reiss-Engelhorn Museen der Stadt, on loan, 1995-2011.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Adrienne Dumas
Adrienne Dumas

Lot Essay

Depicting the rich colours of the evening light falling over a cluster of houses Abendwolken (Evening Clouds) is a striking and evocative landscape painted by Max Pechstein circa 1922. With is dramatic planes of colour and strong angular composition, the scene, which probably depicts a group of fisherman's houses in the coastal village of Nidden where Pechstein perennially spent his summers, reflects the artist's long-held vision of a life of pastoral idyll.

Invoking something of the feeling of his Palau paintings made after a visit to Papua New Guinea and the South Seas in 1914, and also of Paul Gauguin's famous search for an island paradise and escape from modern civilization, Pechstein, using clear forms and vibrant colour contrasts imbues this village scene with a profound feeling of harmony and simplicity.

Many of Pechstein's finest paintings were made in Nidden - the village which for him served, as Fehnmarn did for Kirchner or Alsen for Nolde, as a place of refuge from the city and source of inspiration and vitality. In 1922, in particular, Pechstein underwent a prolonged period of depression caused, he believed, by the strain of life in the city and the long winter months in Berlin that forced him to live inside. Looking forward to the Summer, in April 1922 he wrote: 'That the city depresses me and is sometimes crippling, I will admit. I need air, sky and wide views around me. What disturbs me especially is that now I must care about material concerns which in the pre-war period I didn't have to. But that is Winter. Soon I will be able to roam around and to live freely again in Nature' (Max Pechstein quoted in Aya Soika, Max Pechstein Das Werkverzeichnis der Ölgemälde, vol. 2, Munich, 2011, p. 11).
With its bold, lovingly constructed composition, warm, radiant colour and intimations of the tropics, Abendwolken is an almost celebratory painting reveling in the open-air landscape that Pechstein had missed so much.

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