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


Gabriele Münter (1877-1962)
signed with monogram (lower left); dated '1908' (on the reverse)
oil on board
10 1/8 x 15 3/8 in. (25.8 x 39 cm.)
Painted in 1908
Estate of the artist.
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York (acquired from the above).
Louis Marhoefer, Pittsburgh (acquired from the above).
Private collection (by descent from the above, 1986).
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, February 2000.
New York, Leonard Hutton Galleries, Gabriele Münter: Murnau to Stockholm, 1908-1917, November-December 1961, no. 5.
Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Franz Marc and the Blue Rider, April-July 2001, no. 56.

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Lot Essay

As a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter and one of very few women working at the center of the Munich avant-garde, Münter played a significant role in the emergence of a new visual vocabulary in modern art. Münter came to know Wassily Kandinsky through the experimental Phalanx School (which he aided in founding), which was one of the few places in Germany where women could study alongside men. In Kandinsky, Münter found a mentor that truly enabled her development as an artist; he recognized her natural talent and encouraged her progress.
Between 1903 and 1907, she traveled extensively with Kandinsky through Europe and North Africa. It was during this time that she would learn from the aesthetic ideals of Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and the surrounding Fauves—such influences would emerge in her painting upon her return to Germany in April 1908. When back in Munich, the couple toured the Bavarian countryside, visiting areas of Starbergersee and Staffelsee before finding the picturesque village of Murnau. There, Münter and Kandinsky joined fellow artists Marianne von Werefkin and Alexej von Jawlensky and together painted the surrounding landscape, contributing to a new phase of undisturbed and intense creativity for the four artists.
During this first stay, the group work extensively together to forge a new type of painting characterized by bold simplification, flattened spatial perspective and a wild use of color. Münter’s artistic work underwent a massive transformation, transitioning towards a distillation of form almost immediately. “After a short period of agony,” she later recalled, “I took a great leap forward—from copying nature—in a more or less Impressionist style—to feeling the content of things—abstracting—conveying an extract" (quoted in A. Hoberg, Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter: Letters and Reminiscences, 1902-1914, Munich, 1994, p. 14).

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