Arnold Topp (1887-1945)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF AYALA ZACKS ABRAMOVAyala Zacks-Abramov was, together with her second husband Samuel Jacob Zacks, the architect of one of the most comprehensive and impressive collections of twentieth century art in the post-war era, and has left an enduring legacy of cultural enrichment in both her native Israel and her adopted home of Toronto, Canada, which will be enjoyed and appreciated by generations to come.Ayala was born in Jerusalem in 1912 as Ayala Ben-Tovim. She married her first husband, Morris Fleg, whom she had met while studying in Paris, in 1938; two years later he was killed during military action which led Ayala to join the French Resistance.After the war, Ayala married Samuel Zacks, a Canadian economist and art collector, whom she had met in Switzerland. Sam had always been interested in art even as a student and by the time he and Ayala married in 1947 was already an active and avid collector. When their fledgling collection was shown in Israel in 1955 at four locations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ein Harod and Haifa, it already displayed important works from such diverse movements as Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism. The importance of the collection was reflected in a successful tour of a number of locations in Canada and North America from 1956 to 1957, including many of the lots in the current sale.Over the coming years Sam and Ayala pushed the limits of their artistic exploration, enlarging their collection to staggering proportions and building a comprehensive overview of the development and evolution of modern art throughout the Twentieth Century. They collected with enthusiasm, passion and devotion and with an unerring eye for quality they acquired many works which represent significant landmarks in the art of the Twentieth Century, including masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Derain, Matisse, Gris, Severini, Chagall and Kandinsky. They also selected works for their collection according to a deeply personal aesthetic. As Ayala explained in the preface to a 1976 tribute exhibition to Sam; "Through paintings we became aware of the acute sensitivity of drawings, so often the first expression of an artist's inspiration. Interested in the creative process as well as in the results, we found ourselves responding to drawings with a deep sense of intimate contact with the act of creation; our eyes and hearts were perpetually turning to them.”Sam and Ayala Zacks's contribution to the cultural enrichment of their home countries goes beyond their role as collectors and patrons and is informed above all by a unique awareness that art can be, in Ayala's own words "a source of inspiration, of hope and happiness to all mankind". Sam and Ayala established the wing which bears their name in the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; in Israel they founded the Hazor Museum at Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar, as well as an exhibition hall at the Tel Aviv Museum. After Sam's death in 1970, Ayala returned to Israel in 1976 and married Shneor Zalman Abramov. Born in Minsk in 1908, Abramov was a well-known figure, a journalist and publicist, activist and politician. He was a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset and was considered a major thinker and theoretician of Israeli Liberalism.Back in Israel, Ayala continued to patronize the arts, she sought the best and rarest works by Israeli artists, amassing an unrivalled collection of works by Reuven Rubin, Itzhak Danziger, Mordechai Ardon, Joseph Zaritsky to name but a few. Ayala founded the History of Art Fund for guest professors at the Hebrew University and served on the board of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. She also hosted 'Tuesday Evenings' at her home in Tel Aviv devoted to lectures and performances of the arts, in conjunction with the Tel Aviv University. A legendary figure in the Israeli art world, Ayala died in Jerusalem on 30 August 2011.
Arnold Topp (1887-1945)

Die Sonne ist gross und gefallen

Arnold Topp (1887-1945)
Die Sonne ist gross und gefallen
signed and dated 'A. Topp 1918' (lower centre)
oil on canvas
49 1/4 x 40 1/2 in. (125 x 103 cm.)
Painted in 1918
[probably] Galerie Der Sturm [Herwarth Walden], Berlin.
[probably] Eva Weinwurzel (later Spector), Berlin and later Tel Aviv, by 1958.
Sam & Ayala Zacks, Toronto, probably acquired from the above after 1958.
Ayala Zacks Abramov, Tel Aviv & Jerusalem, and thence by descent to the present owners.
W. Frieg, 'Junge westphälische Künstler' in Feuer I, vol. II, Weimar, February 1920, p. 356 (illustrated).
Arbeitstrat für Kunst (ed.), JA! Stimmen des Arbeitstrates für Kunst in Berlin, Berlin, 1919, no. 21 (reprinted in exh. cat. Arbeitstrat für Kunst, Berlin 1918-1921, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 1980).
R. Enders & T. Greifeld, Arnold Topp, Ein Lebensbild, Weimar, 2007, no. 19.Oe.1, p. 218 (illustrated; dated '1919').
[probably] Berlin, Galerie Der Sturm, Neunundsechzigste Ausstellung, Sturm-Graphik, December 1918.
Dusseldorf, Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, Arnold Topp, Adolf Uzarski, October 1920, no. 46, p. 10.
[probably] Jerusalem, Bezalel National Museum, Expressionism, December 1958 – February 1959 [probably no. 15].
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, on loan, May 1980 - March 1982 and October 1990 - December 1991.
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Lot Essay

Founded in 1910 by Herwarth Walden, Der Sturm was an important promoter of works and ideas of leading German and European modernist painters and writers. The magazine was particularly renowned for its reproduction of original Expressionist graphics and woodcuts. Among the artists who contributed illustrations were Oskar Kokoschka, Marc Chagall, members of Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter. 'At the time Berlin was one of the most important artistic centres in Europe ... Herwarth Walden's Der Sturm (The Storm) Gallery in the metropolis was regarded as the headquarters of modern art. He surrounded himself with the artists of his choosing, and fostered their acknowledgment through exhibitions and publications. It was through him that the artists of Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, the Italian Futurists and the Cubists were introduced to the Berlin public.' (M. Gergely, A Melancholy Journey Béla Kádàr (1877-1956), Budapest, 2002, p. 32.)

Arnold Topp was an important artist of Herwarth Walden’s gallery Der Sturm in Berlin and friends with its circle of avant-garde artists. His works were first exhibited there in 1915 and he enjoyed some success before WWI. In the Weimar Republic, Topp’s artistic success picked up again, he co-founded the Arbeitsrat fuer Kunst (Worker’s Council for Art) and his works were exhibited at Der Sturm and internationally. But with the rise of the National Socialists, he was declared a “degenerate” artist and his works were exhibited in the exhibition of Entartete Kunst in 1937. Still today the whereabouts of many of his works are unknown, and a significant number where destroyed by the Nazis. As Topp was always working as a teacher, he was able to sustain a living, but was moved to a post further east, to a small town which today is in Poland. He probably died in the last weeks of WWII and his fate was unknown for decades, his art rarely exhibited until the 1980s. Today, his works are collected widely again and held by museums internationally.
The present work is one of the artist’s most important works and features Topp’s typical expressionist colours and cubist composition. The title Die Sonne ist gross und gefallen (The sun is great and has fallen), refers to a poem which the Expressionist poet Adolf Allwohn dedicated to Topp, and which was published in the magazine of Der Sturm in 1919.

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