HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)
HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)
HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION
HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)

Pflanzen bei Nacht

HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)
Pflanzen bei Nacht
signed with initials, indistinctly dated and inscribed ‘H.H. 193...’ (lower left); signed, dated and inscribed 'H. Höch Pflanzen bei Nacht 1931' (on the reverse)
gouache and watercolour on paper
27 x 21 1/8 in. (68.4 x 53.8 cm.)
Executed in 1931
The artist’s estate.
By descent to the present owners.
Berlin, Reinickendorf, Art Office, Gallery in the Schinkelsaal Tegel, Hannha Höch, Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Linolschnitte aus den Jahren 1915-1965, May 1968, no. 6.
Kyoto, National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Goethe-Institut Kyoto, Hannha Höch, Das künstlerische Schaffen einer Malerin des Dada, April - May 1974, no. 95.
Berlin, Galerie Pels-Leusden, Der Anteil der Frau an der Kunst der 20er Jahre. Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik und Plastik, September - October 1977, no. 44.
Gelsenkirchen, Städtisches Kunstsammlung, Hannah Höch Ein Leben mit der Pflanze, May - June 1978, no. 31, p. 20 (illustrated).
Tübingen, Kunsthalle Tübingen, Hannah Höch, Fotomontagen, Gemälde, Aquarelle, February - May 1980, no. 165, p. 234 (illustrated p. 188); this exhibition later traveled to Hannover, Kunstmuseum, May - June 1980; Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum, September - October 1980; Frankfurt, Kunstverein, December 1980 - January 1981.
Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, Hannah Höch, Ihr Werk, Ihr Leben, Ihr Freunde, November 1989 - January 1990, p. 97 (illustrated).
Gotha, Museen der Stadt Gotha, Hannah Höch, August - November 1993, no. 54, p. 104 (illustrated).
Düsseldorf, Galerie Remmert und Barth, Hannah Höch Frau and Saturn, September - November 2013, no. 56, p. 86.
Mannheim, Kunsthalle, Hannah Höch Revolutionärin der Kunst, Das Werk nach 1945, April - August 2016, no. 41, p. 82 (illustrated).
Hamburg, Galerie und Verlag St. Gertrude, Hannah Höch, Auf der Suche nach der versteckten Schönheit, April - June 2017, n.p.(illustrated).
Apolda, Kunsthaus Apolda Avantgarde, Hannah Höch, Flora Vitalis, July - September 2017, no. 51, p. 71 (illustrated).
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. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
We are grateful to Dr Ralf Burmeister and to Dr Ellen Maurer for their assistance in cataloguing this work.

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Lot Essay

Over the course of her artistic career, Hannah Höch nurtured a deep passion and enduring curiosity for the natural world. This fascination inspired a large number of floral subjects in her œuvre, from detailed reproductions capturing the intricate patterns and shapes of different blossoms, to abstract visions which revel in the rich colours and symbolic power of these organic forms. Created in 1931, the vibrant gouache and watercolour Pflanzen bei Nacht depicts a small group of brightly hued flowers clustered together atop a small hill, their leaves catching the light of the last golden rays of sun, just before it dips below the horizon. Gathering their vibrant petals inward in preparation for the long, dark night ahead, these blooms adopt a protective stance which, while rooted in natural processes of adaptation and evolution, ultimately hides their beauty. In both composition and colour palette, the painting is closely related to another watercolour from the same year, Pflanzen bei Regen (1931; Private Collection), where the flowers appear to brace themselves for an oncoming downpour, as heavy storm clouds gather above. Considered together, the two works may allude to the foreboding atmosphere sweeping Germany at this time, as the restrictive policies of the newly powerful Nazi party began to encroach upon the activities of the cultural avant-garde. As such, Höch could have seen these flowers, closing inwards for protection as they prepare to endure the sudden changes in their environment, as a model for how to face the oncoming turmoil of the 1930s, which loomed heavy and dark on the horizon.

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