ALBERT BLOCH (1882-1961)
ALBERT BLOCH (1882-1961)
ALBERT BLOCH (1882-1961)
ALBERT BLOCH (1882-1961)
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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTOR
ALBERT BLOCH (1882-1961)

Talbild, Nachts

ALBERT BLOCH (1882-1961)
Talbild, Nachts
signed with the artist's monogram (lower left)
oil on canvas
26 1/8 x 30 3/8 in. (66.5 x 77.2 cm.)
Painted in 1915-1917
Walter Dexel, Braunschweig, by whom acquired directly from the artist.
Thomas Dexel, Braunschweig, by descent from the above.
Private collection, Berlin, acquired from the above, circa 1990; sale, Christie's, London, 4 February 2003, lot 266.
Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York & Chicago, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Acquired from the above by the present owners in May 2003.
Exh. cat., Albert Bloch: The American Blue Rider, Munich, 1997, pp. 174-175 (illustrated, p. 70).
F. Baron & J. Blumb, Albert Bloch and the Blue Rider: The Munich Years, Lawrence, 2014, p. 35 (illustrated, fig. 100; titled 'Night in the Valley').
(possibly) Berlin, Galerie Der Sturm, 1917.
Special notice
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
David Cateforis has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.

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Annie Wallington
Annie Wallington Head of Core Sales

Lot Essay

Painted during the First World War, Bloch’s Talbild, Nachts presents a strange nocturnal landscape, at once seemingly pastoral and peaceful, and yet alive with a vital, tumultuous energy that casts a portentous atmosphere across the scene. The American artist had chosen to remain in Germany with his family during the war, working diligently in his studio in Munich, and reporting weekly to the authorities as an enemy alien. Despite an increasingly perilous financial situation and the restrictions of life in wartime Germany, Bloch continued to pursue a revolutionary stylistic approach in his paintings, drawing on the influences of his Der Blaue Reiter colleagues including Wassily Kandinsky, Heinrich Campendonk and, most importantly, Franz Marc. The visionary landscapes that emerged in Bloch’s œuvre at this time echo the bold visual language of Marc in particular, inspired by the close friendship and artistic dialogue the two artists shared, which was cruelly cut short by Marc’s death at Verdun in 1916.
Bloch would later describe this period of his career as one of 'zig-zag development', and these years were indeed marked by a number of stimulating exchanges and interactions with a diverse mixture of the international artistic avant-garde. Most notably, Bloch was increasingly drawn to the whimsical subjects and intense colour schemes of Marc Chagall, while the stylized plant life in landscapes such as Tabild, Nachts echo the painterly style of Paul Klee. Bloch’s involvement with the Galerie Der Sturm in Berlin had brought him into contact with Chagall, with the artist later recalling that he had assisted its owner, Herwarth Walden, in the installation of the first exhibition of the Russian painter’s art to be held in Germany. While Klee had also been a member of the Der Blaue Reiter, it was not until several years later that he and Bloch became close, sharing a joint exhibition at Der Sturm in 1916. Bloch would later describe Klee as one of the most unusual of his comrades in Munich, stating: 'Upon me the work of Paul Klee has from the beginning exerted a strange fascination, as great a fascination as the man himself, with his rare, impish humour' (quoted in ibid., p. 204). It was through Klee that Bloch met the first owner of the present work - Prof. Dr. Walter Dexel, the esteemed art historian and painter, who was director of the Kunstverein in Jena when the institution hosted an exhibition of Bloch’s paintings alongside the work of Campendonk in December 1916.

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