Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more THE PETER BENDIXEN COLLECTION A conspiratorial partnership: Peter Bendixen and his Beuys collection 'Sammeln ist f mich zu einer existentiellen Notwendigkeit geworden. Ohne Kunst würde mir die Welt zu eng. Kunst schafft mir Freiräume.' (P. Bendixen quoted in: M. Lange, 'Sammler mit Courage: Von Beuys bezog er die Intuition,' in: Art, September 1992, p. 74.) 'Collecting has become an existential necessity for me. Without art the world would become too small. Art gives me freedom of mind.' So spoke Peter Bendixen in 1992, a lawyer and passionate collector whose courage and foresight in buying whatever caught his eye was rewarded with a remarkable collection of works whose creators were to become stars of the art world. A traditional collector with a contemporary eye, his remarkable collection includes early prints and multiples by such luminaries as Joseph Beuys, Claes Oldenburg, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Günther Uecker. The first multiple to enter the collection - an unlimited assemblage by Joseph Beuys - did so in 1970 for the sum of DM 8. Beuys remained an important artist for Bendixen: 'For me the importance of Joseph Beuys is because of his courage to use new means of expression. His works are liberation struggles that guide me on my way out of conventional thinking.' (Peter Bendixen quoted in 'Von Beuys bezog er die Intuition' in art - Das Kunstmagazin , issue no. 9, September 1992, p.76) The extraordinary collection, including Beuys' famous sledge, about which the collector says: 'The work has a tremendously powerful force field. It builds me up emotionally.'(Peter Bendixen quoted in art - Das Kunstmagazin , no. 9, September 1994. p. 74) The collection consists of over 5,000 objects, ranging from Egyptian, Greek and Roman figures and lamps in bronze and clay, carefully stored and accompanied by an equally enormous reference library. 'The works from different eras and cultures engage among themselves in a very interesting dialogue. And they have no communication problems at all.' But prints and multiples held a special place in his heart: 'When a work of art is published in an edition, the artist takes particular care in creating it.' Almost all of his free time was devoted to his fascination for art. 'I want to be surrounded by art. This is an elementary need that I do not question.'
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)

Schlitten (sledge) (Schellmann 12)

Details
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)
Schlitten (sledge) (Schellmann 12)
stamped with artist's signature 'BEUYS' (top of the sledge); numbered '44' (on a metal plaque affixed to the sledge)
wood and metal sledge, felt, belts, flashlight and fat
35 x 90 x 35 cm.
Executed in 1969, this work is number forty-four from an edition of fifty plus five Hors de Commerce, published by Galerie René Block, Berlin
Literature
The Froelich Foundation: German and American Art from Beuys to Warhol, exh.cat., Tate Gallery, London 1996, no. 81 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 248).
Exhibited
Antwerp, Galerie Ronny Van De Velde, Joseph Beuys. Multiples, 1988, no. 5 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated, unpaged). Munich, A11 Artforum, Joseph Beuys - a private collection, 1990, no. 11 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated, pp. 115, 147).
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, Joseph Beuys, 1993-1994, no. 27 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated, p. 75). This exhibition later travelled to Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (another from the edition illustrated, p. 77) and Paris, Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou (another from the edition illustrated, p. 269).
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Wide White Space 1966-1976, 1994 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 269).
Houston, The Menil Collection, Joseph Beuys. Actions, Vitrines, Environments, 2004-2005, no. 11 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated, p. 47).
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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Lisa Snijders
Lisa Snijders

Lot Essay

One of Joseph Beuys' most iconic art works, Schlitten presents a wooden sledge with fat, felt and a torch light strapped to it. A metaphoric survival kit, the flashlight represents the sense of orientation, felt for protection and fat for food. The elements of Schlitten are fragments intrinsically linked to the core of Beuys' personal narrative and symbolic universe, his now mythologised near-death experience during the Second World War. Beuys had joined the Luftwaffe in 1940 and trained as a Stuka pilot. While flying over the Crimea in 1943, his plane came down during a snowstorm and, according to the artist, he as the only survivor had been rescued from certain death by nomadic Tartars who had brought warmth back to his body by rubbing fat onto it and wrapping it in felt. As he regained consciousness, the smell of the fat and the texture of the felt became ingrained in his memory, subsequently becoming a central feature in his most important works, such as Das Rudel (The Pack), in Neue Galerie in Kassel.

'The most direct kind of movement over the earth is the sliding of the iron runners of the sleds... This relationship between feet and earth is made in many sculptures, which always run along the ground. Each sled carries its own survival kit: the flashlight represents the sense of orientation, then felt for protection, and fat is food.' (Joseph Beuys, quoted in C. Tisdale, Joseph Beuys, exh.cat., the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1979, p. 190)

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