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

Im Uhrmacherladen

Gabriele Münter (1877-1962)
Im Uhrmacherladen
signed 'Münter.' (lower right); with Nachlass stamp (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
25 ¾ x 34 ¾ in. (65.5 x 88.5 cm.)
Painted in 1916
Estate of the artist.
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 26 June 1984, lot 362.
Galerie Thomas, Munich.
Anon. sale, Hampel, Munich, 26 March 2015, lot 997.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Gabriele Münter: eine Malerin des Blauen Reiters, Gema¨lde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, exh. cat., Sta¨dtischen Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen, 1999, p. 60 (illustrated, fig. 12).
I. Jansen, Gabriele Münter: Painting to the Point, exh. cat., Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München, 2017, p. 114 (illustrated in color, fig. B).
Stockholm, Liljevalchs Konsthall, January-February 1917.
Cologne, Galerie Orangerie/Reinz, Gabriele Münter, March-May 1981, p. 18 (illustrated in color, p. 19).
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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Lot Essay

This painting will be included in the forthcoming Münter catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Gabriele Münter-und Johannes Eichner-Stiftung.
Painted in 1916, when Münter was alone in exile in Stockholm, Im Uhrmacherladen read as a letter to Kandinsky, whose return she was awaiting. The couple had left for Switzerland together, but soon Münter was left alone in Zurich, while Kandinsky traveled on to Moscow. Their relationship had already come to its end, though neither wanted to admit it to the other. They were eventually reunited in Stockholm in winter 1915 and even talked about marriage, but only after Kandinsky left in spring 2016. At the center of Im Uhrmacherladen, a young woman leans over a shop counter, an inkwell before her, perhaps an allusion to the intensive correspondence of that year, or to her dwindling communication with Kandinsky, towards the end of the year. On the backdrop of a brightly rendered wall hang an array of ticking clocks, symbolizing the time that had passed since she last saw her companion. To the left, a man inspects a timepiece and is dominated by a bouquet of flowers. The pain and loneliness at the expectation of Kandinsky are tangible in this painting, which could be seen as the visual expression of the turning point in the relationship of these two artists. Kandinsky would never return. He married Nina Andreevsky that year, but did not tell Münter, who remained hopeful of a reunion.
It is notable that Münter’s years in Stockholm were a period of high artistic output and inspiration, as well as a period of public recognition and mutual exchange with other artists. By contrast, Kandinsky hardly painted between 1915-1916. Besides the potential biographical importance of this painting, it is also highly interesting stylistically. All the naivety and savageness which made the artist’s work internationally famous at the time are represented in this work. The figures and objects are outlined strongly in black and stand in isolation, emphasizing the figure’s solitude in her surroundings and thereby the artist’s mood. The painting is a template for an etching with the same title from 1917.

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