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Zeichnung für Lamento (Drawing for Lamento)

Zeichnung für Lamento (Drawing for Lamento)
signed 'Klapheck' (lower right); titled, inscribed and dated '19 Zeichnung - Dessin für/pour "Lamento" 1986' (on the reverse)
charcoal on tracing paper
59 5⁄8 x 40 5⁄8in. (151.3 x 103.1cm.)
Executed in 1986
Jahn und Jahn, Munich.
White Cube, London.
Private Collection, London.
Munich, Jahn und Jahn, The Way You Read a Book is Different to How I Tell You a Story, 2018.
London, White Cube, The Real: Three Propositions, 2019.
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.
We will invoice under standard VAT rules and VAT will be charged at 20% on both the hammer price and buyer’s premium and shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

In conjunction with each of his paintings, Konrad Klapheck produces large-scale drawings. Executed in charcoal or pencil, on canvas or transparent paper, these images match the paintings in size and subject: they are reminiscent of the large cartoons made for tapestries and Renaissance frescos, and painterly in a manner which Albert Oehlen found to be ‘very impressive’ (A. Oehlen in conversation with M. Godfrey, ‘Albert Oehlen: Terrifying Sunset’, Gagosian Quarterly, Summer 2021). While made in tandem with the paintings, each drawing is an independent and arresting entity. Created in 1986 following Klapheck’s travelling retrospective at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Zeichnung für Lamento (Drawing for Lamento) relates directly to Lamento, a gleaming red depiction of a fire-hose painted the same year. The composition harnesses a potent presence, its geometry delicately considered. The seemingly ordinary subject, rendered in charcoal on tracing paper, is coiled with sensuous drama: through playful framing and graphic shadow, Klapheck displays the hose as if contained in a cabinet, ready to spring into emergency action.

Machines, appliances, and other utilitarian tools have been the central focus of Klapheck’s oeuvre since the 1950s. Using a technique he ‘characterised as a rejection of Tachisme’, Klapheck slightly distorts these objects, lending a humorous and at times erotic charge to the otherwise banal (R. Smith, ‘Art in Review’, New York Times, 7 December 2007). Klapheck sees these strange yet familiar images as ‘corporeal’ and in doing so, his objects take on human traits, straddling the line between the real and the surreal. ‘I like that things look round and physical’, he has remarked, and his drawings feel wholly palpable (K. Klapheck quoted in ‘A Conversation with Konrad Klapheck’, Index, 10 April 2018). In Zeichnung für Lamento, the sinuous black lines fold snake-like upon themselves, conjuring a being poised in ambiguous tension.

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