Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF WILHELM REINOLDChristie’s is honoured to present the following selection of works from the collection of the highly respected financier and patron of the arts, Wilhelm Reinold (1895-1979). Assembled over the course of two decades, this diverse collection of paintings and prints stands as a testament not only to Reinold’s discerning eye, but also his deep appreciation for art of the early Twentieth Century.Although born in Wuppertal, Reinold’s banking career truly flourished in the German city of Hamburg, where he earned a reputation as an astute and intelligent thinker, characteristics which would eventually lead him to become a board member of the city’s Commerzbank. While he had maintained a general interest in the arts throughout his life, a gift of a Paul Klee drawing on the occasion of his 65th birthday inspired Reinold to begin a prolific collecting journey that would occupy him throughout the 1960s and 1970s. During this time he amassed an enviable collection of modern art, acquiring vibrant, compelling works from painters as diverse as Marc Chagall and Max Beckmann to Lyonel Feininger and Gabriele Münter. He also developed key friendships with several notable artists, including Oskar Kokoschka, whom he commissioned to create a panoramic view of the Hamburg harbour from a crane of the Stülcken-Werft shipyard in the early 1960s. Alongside his collecting activities he was also a generous patron and philanthropist, donating several important artworks to local museums and galleries in Hamburg, and providing financial assistance to a number of artistic institutions.While Reinold’s artistic tastes were varied and wide-ranging, several themes appear to have underpinned his collecting habits. For example, he held a particular interest in the art of his homeland, acquiring paintings by many of the leading figures of the German avant-garde during the first half of the Twentieth Century, including Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde and the Die Brücke artists Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. There is also a strong focus on figurative representation in his acquisitions, while many works appear to have been chosen for their powerfully expressionistic approach to colour. Indeed, the collection is filled with paintings that utilise luminous, vibrant pigments to bring a bold sense of energy and life to their subject matter. Other works offer an insight into the internal battles which occupied their creators during pivotal moments in their careers. Whether in the midst of experimenting with a new painterly style or investigating alternative media, they capture painting in its rawest and most vigorous form, as each artist strives to translate their subjective vision of the world onto their canvases with an intensity and passion that reflects their experiences.
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)


Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980)
signed with the initials 'OK' (upper left); inscribed 'Katze' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
18 1/8 x 27 5/8 in. (46 x 70.2 cm.)
Painted in 1910
Adolf Loos, Vienna, by 1915.
Neue Galerie [Otto Nirenstein], Vienna, by 8 January 1925.
Ida Bienert collection, Dresden & Munich, by whom acquired from the above on 11 March 1925.
Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., New York & London (no. 5187), by whom acquired from the above in May 1963.
Wilhelm Reinold, Hamburg, by whom acquired from the above on 28 April 1965, and thence by descent to the present owners.
P. Westheim, Oskar Kokoschka: Das Werk Kokoschkas, Berlin, 1925, no. 14, p. 47 (illustrated ; dated '1912').
W. Grohmann, 1929 (illustrated p. 270).
W. Grohmann, 'Sammlung Ida Bienert - Dresden', in Museum der Gegenwart, Berlin, vol. III, no. 2, 1932-1933, p. 63 (dated '1912').
W. Grohmann, die sammlung Ida Bienert, Dresden, Potsdam, 1933, p. 22 (illustrated pl. 30; dated '1912').
E. Hoffmann, Kokoschka: Life and Work, London, 1947, no. 30, pp. 192 & 293 (illustrated pl. IX).
H. M. Wingler, Oskar Kokoschka: Orbis pictus, Salzburg, 1951, Portfolio I, p. 5 (illustrated pl. 3).
H. M. Wingler, Oskar Kokoschka, Das Werk des Malers, Salzburg, 1956, no. 42, pp. 40 & 298 (illustrated pl. V, p. 33).
H. M. Wingler, Kokoschka-Fibel, Salzburg, 1957, p. 104 (illustrated p. 105).
K. B. Palkovský, Oskar Kokoschka, Prague, 1958, no. 11, n.p. (illustrated).
E. Ruhmer, 'Tierbilder von Kokoschka', in Die Kunst und das schöne Heim, vol. 56, no. 11, Munich, August 1959, p. 407 (illustrated p. 406).
B. Bultmann, Oskar Kokoschka, Salzburg, 1960, no. 5, p. 54 (illustrated p. 55).
J. Winkler & K. Erling, Oskar Kokoschka: Die Gemälde, 1906-1929, Salzburg, 1995, no. 55, p. 33 (illustrated).
H. Spielmann, Oskar Kokoschka, Leben und Werk, Cologne, 2003, p. 103 (illustrated).
Karlsbad, Café 'Park Schönbrunn', Kollektiv-Ausstellung Oskar Kokoschka, July - August 1911, no. 21.
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Mai- Ausstellung, May - June 1913, no. 133, p. 6.
(Possibly) New York, Bruno's Garret, Oskar Kokoschka. Jacoba van Heemskerck, October 1915.
San Francisco, Palace of Fine Arts, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, August 1915, no. 313, p. 264 (titled 'Portrait: Angora Cat').
Vienna, Neue Galerie, Oskar Kokoschka, October 1924 (no catalogue).
Dresden, Galerie Ernst Arnold, Oskar Kokoschka. Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Aquarelle, Drucke, January - February 1925, no. 20.
Berlin, Galerie Paul Cassirer, Bildnisse von Oskar Kokoschka: Menschen und Tiere, February 1927, no. 18 (dated '1912').
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Ausstellung Oskar Kokoschka, June - July 1927, no. 31.
Dresden, Sächsischer Kunstverein, Neuere Kunstwerke aus Dresdner Privatbesitz, April - May 1929, no. 63 (illustrated).
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Oskar Kokoschka, September - October 1950, no. 22; this exhibition later travelled to Hamburg, Kunsthalle, November - December 1950, Mannheim, Kunsthalle, January 1951, and Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, February - March 1951, no. 11.
Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Oskar Kokoschka, March - April 1951, no. 7.
Freiburg im Breisgau, Kunstverein, Oskar Kokoschka, October 1954, no. 3.
Vienna, Secession Building, Kokoschka, October - November 1955, no. 9.
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Oskar Kokoschka, March - May 1958, no. 12, p. 116 (illustrated p. 12).
Vienna, Kunstlerhaus, Oskar Kokoschka, May - July 1958, no. 14 (illustrated p. 12).
London, Tate Gallery, Kokoschka, September - November 1962, no. 16.
Hamburg, Kunstverein, Oskar Kokoschka, December 1962 - January 1963, no. 14, n.p. (illustrated n.p.; dated '1912').
New York, Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, Artist and Maecenas: A Tribute to Curt Valentin, November - December 1963, no. 242, p. 126 (illustrated).
Hamburg, Kunstverein, Vom Impressionismus zum Bauhaus: Meisterwerke aus deutschem Privatbesitz, August - October 1966, no. 36, n.p. (illustrated pl. 36; dated 'circa 1910-1912').
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Oskar Kokoschka, June - July 1966, no. 11, n.p.
Vienna, Österreichische Galerie im Oberen Belvedere, Oskar Kokoschka: zum 85. Geburtstag, April - June 1971, no. 13, p. 44 (illustrated pl. 14).
New York, Marlborough Gallery, Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980): Memorial Exhibition, May - June 1981, no. 9, p. 15 (illustrated p. 32); this exhibition later travelled to London, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., June - July 1981.
London, Tate Gallery, Oskar Kokoschka 1886-1980, June - August 1986, no. 18, p. 303 (illustrated n.p.); this exhibition later travelled to Zurich, Kunsthaus Zurich, September - November 1986.
Vienna, Kunstforum Länderbank Vienna, Oskar Kokoschka, March - June 1991, no. 13, n.p. (illustrated).
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kokoschka und Dresden, September - December 1996, no. 2, p. 88 (illustrated p. 89); this exhibition later travelled to Vienna, Österreichische Galerie im Belvedere, December 1996 - March 1997, p. 28 (illustrated).
Pfäffikon, Seedamm Kuturzentrum, Oskar Kokoschka: Beziehungen zur Schweiz, November 2005 - February 2006, no. 25, p. 33 (illustrated).
Dresden, Palais Brühlsche Terrasse, Von Monet bis Picasso, Meisterwerke der Moderne aus Dresdner Privatsammlungen der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, September 2006 - January 2007, no. 45, p. 178 (illustrated p. 179).
Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Oskar Kokoschka: Portraits of People and Animals, September 2013 - January 2014, no. 111, pp. 32 & 199 (illustrated p. 161); this exhibition later travelled to Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum, April - August 2014.
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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Keith Gill
Keith Gill

Lot Essay

'My early black portraits arose in Vienna before the World War: the people lived in security yet they were all afraid. I felt this through their cultivated form of living which was still derived from the Baroque; I painted them in their anxiety and their pain.' (Oskar Kokoschka, quoted in Peter Selz, German Expressionist Painting Berkeley, 1957, p. 165)

Among the most moving, incisive and disturbing of all Twentieth Century portraits, Oskar Kokoschka's early works are extraordinarily powerful and probing psychological paintings that depict an entire culture in decline. Unwelcome revelations of a strange, sick and fragile humanity existing viscerally underneath the skin of outward surface appearance Kokoschka’s early portraits are arguably the very first examples of a truly Expressionist style of portraiture. Eerie and even sometimes prophetic portrayals of how his sitters were to look twenty years later or after an illness, these works display a disturbing existential truth about the nature of modern man. Indeed, so insightful and shocking were they that although they are now highly prized for the acuteness of their perception, they caused dissent and scandal when they were first exhibited.

Collectively, these extraordinary portraits, sometimes known, like Goya's late work, as the 'black portraits' are a series of ghostly almost x-ray-like visions revealing the tortured inner life of their subjects with a psychological precision that seems to visually echo the penetrating insights of fellow explorer of the fin-de-siecle Viennese soul, Sigmund Freud. Kätze of 1910 is a unique animal portrait from this seminal period when Kokoschka was at the height of his visionary powers. The very first of his animal portraits, it was acquired from the artist by his friend and supporter, the architect, Adolf Loos and subsequently became part of Ida Bienert’s collection in Dresden.

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