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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A SWISS PRIVATE COLLECTION

Arrangement für eine Mütze I- dithyrambisch (Arrangement for a Cap I- dithyrambic)

Arrangement für eine Mütze I- dithyrambisch (Arrangement for a Cap I- dithyrambic)
signed 'MARKUS' (lower right); signed and titled 'ARANGEMENT FÜR EINE MÜTZE (DITHYRAMBISCH) I MARKUS LÜPERTZ' (on the stretcher)
distemper on canvas, in artist's frame
79 3/8 x 104 5/8 x 2 7/8in. (201.6 x 265.7 x 7.2cm.)
Executed in 1973
Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne.
Acquired from the above by the Crex Collection in 1977.
Thence to the present owner.
M Schwarz, 'Spontanmalerei: Über das Verhältnis von Farbe und Gegenstand in der neueren Malerei', in Kunstforum International, vol. XX, 1977, p. 77.
'Markus Lüpertz: Zeichnungen', in Aus der Reihe, Dortmunder Architekturhefte, 1977, Nr. 7, no. 2 (illustrated, unpaged).
Markus Lüpertz, exh. cat., Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, 1977 (installation view illustrated, p. 69).
C. Sauer and U. Raussmüller (eds.), Werke aus der Sammlung Crex, exh. cat., Zurich, InK, 1978, p. 81 (illustrated, p. 80; incorrectly titled, Arrangement für eine Mütze II).
W. Grasskamp, Der lange Marsch durch die Illusionen: Über Kunst und Politik, Munich 1995 (illustrated, p. 90).
Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Markus Lüpertz. Bilder, Gouachen und Zeichnungen 1967-1973, 1973, p. 50 (illustrated in artist’s studio, pp. 51 and 54-55; incorrectly titled‚ Arrangement für eine Mütze II- dithyrambisch).
Cologne, Galerie Michael Werner, Markus Lüpertz: Bilder 1972-1976, 1976, no. 10a.
Bern, Kunsthalle Bern, Markus Lüpertz: Dithyrambische und Stil-Malerei, 1977, p. 46, no. 20.
Zurich, Kulturfoyer des Migros Genossenschafts-Bund, Markus Lüpertz, 1978.
Cologne, Joseph-Haubrich-Kunsthalle, Markus Lüpertz Gemälde und Handzeichnungen 1964 bis 1979, 1979-1980, p. 105, no. 39.
Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Jo¨rg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Markus Lu¨pertz, A.R. Penck: Hunden tillsto¨ter under veckans lopp, 1981, p. 129, no. 35a (illustrated, p. 95).
Saint-Étienne, Musée d'Art et d' Industrie, Mythe-Drame-Tragédie, 1982, no. 45 (illustrated, p. 81).
Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Markus Lüpertz Bilder 1970-1983, 1983.
Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Markus Lüpertz. Retrospectiva 1963-1990. Pintura, Escultura, Dibujo, 1991, p. 265, no. 26a (illustrated in colour, p. 60).
Karlsruhe, Städtische Galerie im Prinz Max-Palais Karlsruhe, Markus Lüpertz: Rezeptionen - Paraphrasen, 1991, p. 187, no. 4.
Basel, Raussmüller Collection (on long term loan from 2004-2010).
Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Markus Lüpertz. A Retrospective, 2015, p. 180 (illustrated in colour, p. 181).
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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Lot Essay

Property from a Swiss Private Collection

Christie’s is delighted to present works by Georg Baselitz, Robert Mangold, Markus Lüpertz and Eduardo Arroyo from a Swiss private collection. Spread across the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening and Day auctions, the selection boasts exceptional provenance: each work was formerly part of the prestigious Crex Collection, whose pioneering embrace of the European and American avant-garde from the 1960s onwards transformed public appreciation of contemporary art in Switzerland and beyond. Prominently exhibited since their creation, the works exemplify the collection’s international outlook, rigorous eye for quality and fearless engagement with the art of its time.

The selection captures the twin poles of painterly exploration during the 1970s and 1980s: from Minimalism in America to the revival of expressive, figurative modes in Europe. Mangold’s Irregular Yellow-Orange Area with a Drawn Ellipse (1987) and Violet Tilted Ellipse/ Gray-Ochre Frame (1989) showcase his ground-breaking studies of the relationship between form, colour, line and surface. Baselitz’s Weiblicher Akt liegend (1977), by contrast, grapples with the tradition of the reclining female nude, inverting and sublimating the subject’s form through rich, gestural brushwork. Lüpertz’s Arrangement für eine tze I dithyrambisch (1973) and Arroyo’s Peintres Aveugles (1975), meanwhile, use politically-charged imagery that navigates between figurative and abstract registers.

Historically, Minimalism and Neo-Expressionism were at odds with one another: the former had declared figurative painting dead, while the latter sought to breathe new life into its traditions. The present selection, however, demonstrates a vivid conversation between the two modes. Artists such as Baselitz and Lüpertz were interested in how we create and receive meaning from images, probing the relationship between form and content. While Mangold rejected figurative subjects, his practice was similarly concerned with the primal interaction between basic visual elements, asking how they conspire to produce something we recognise as pictorial space. Such dialogues bear witness to the collection’s sharp curatorial instinct: seen together, the works posit art-making as an act of research and communication, capable of challenging the ways in which we process the world around us.

Markus Lüpertz, Arrangement für eine Mütze I dithyrambisch, 1973

Rendered on a monumental scale, spanning over three metres in width, the present work is an outstanding example of Markus Lüpertz’s celebrated ‘dithyrambic’ paintings. Formerly part of the Crex Collection, it belongs to a series of three works of the same title. Conceived as a set of variations on a theme, each depicts a military cap, rendered with visceral, expressive brushwork that pushes the motif to the brink of abstraction. Inspired by ‘dithyrambs’ – ancient Greek chants sung in honour of Dionysus – Lüpertz’s ‘dithyrambic’ paintings repeatedly reworked their subjects until their original meaning became obscured. In doing so, they sought to question the inherent symbolic value of their motifs, asking at what point content dissolves into form. The present work was painted in 1973: the year that the artist’s first retrospective at the Goethe-Institut in Amsterdam brought him international recognition. It has since been widely exhibited, notably featuring in major retrospectives at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1991), and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2015).

Born in former Czechoslovakia in 1941, Lüpertz moved to West Germany as a child. Following studies in Krefeld and Düsseldorf, he settled in Berlin, where he became associated with artists such as A. R. Penck, Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorff. Like Baselitz, he felt that painters in both East and West Germany were reluctant to confront the country’s recent past, hiding behind Socialist Realist figuration and Western abstraction respectively. In his ‘dithyrambic’ paintings, he sought common ground between the two modes, subjecting simple graphic forms to distortive abstract processes. Baselitz, who pursued a similar agenda by rendering his subjects upside down, had frequently adopted deliberately Germanic motifs, questioning the means by which images become invested with symbolic or political charge. Lüpertz used military subject matter to similar ends, asking viewers to pinpoint the moment at which a mass of abstract colour and texture forms into a soldier’s cap – and vice versa. In doing so, he hoped to demonstrate painting’s power to create and erase meaning in a fractured society: as he put it, ‘painting provides the vocabulary to make the world visible’ (M. Lüpertz, quoted in Markus Lüpertz, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D. C., 2017, p. 6).

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