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Oskar Schlemmer (1888–1943)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE CANADIAN COLLECTION
Oskar Schlemmer (1888–1943)

Mädchenkopf auf Rohleinen

Oskar Schlemmer (1888–1943)
Mädchenkopf auf Rohleinen
signed 'O Schlemmer' (on the artist's mount); inscribed and dated 'Kopf auf Rohleinen 1930' (on the reverse of the mount)
oil and tempera on linen on the artist's mount
12 1/4 x 12 1/4 in. (31 x 31 cm.)
Executed in 1930
Das Kunsthaus [Herbert Tannenbaum], Mannheim.
Private collection, Toronto, by whom acquired from the above in 1934.
A gift from the above to the present owner in 1978.
H. Hildebrandt, Oskar Schlemmer, Munich, 1979, no. 191.
K. von Maur, Oskar Schlemmer, Oeuvrekatalog der Gemälde, Aquarelle, Pastelle und Plastiken, Munich, 1979, no. G 216, p. 92 (illustrated).
Breslau, Staatliche Akademie für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe, Ausstellung der Professoren, Im Alten General-Kommando Breslau, January - February 1930, no. 31, p. 15.
Hannover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Schlemmer und Picasso, November - December 1932, no. 21 (titled 'Kopf').
Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Willi Baumeister, Otto Meyer-Amden, Oskar Schlemmer, April 1932, Liste no. 30.
Ulm, Liste, 1933.
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, Die Sammlung Landmann, 1943.
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, Three Modern Style, September - November 1950.
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Michelle McMullan, Specialist, Head of Day Sale
Michelle McMullan, Specialist, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

Oskar Schlemmer can be described as an Universalgestalter. He was not only a sculptor and painter, but a stage and mural designer and choreographer, an artist who used a new language of form to create an idealized, abstract and universal image of man to be used as the single and true measurement for mankind.

The war played an incisive role in Schlemmer's his life, which left him in the search for a new, harmonic idea of mankind. Upon his return to Stuttgart, Schlemmer turned his artistic practice to sculpture, participating in an important exhibition at Galerie der Sturm in Berlin in 1919. One year later he was invited by Walter Gropius to run the sculpture department at the Bauhaus school in Weimar. His complex ideas were influential, making him one of the most important teachers working at the school at that time, as well as nourishing his way of ingeniously applying and adapting the Bauhaus principle.

Schlemmer’s works epitomise the aesthetic and stylistic ideals of the Bauhaus movement, reducing objects to their purest, functional form, whilst remaining true to their nature. Whereas his colleagues, among them Kandinsky and Klee, focus on abstract painting, Schlemmer dedicates himself to the subject of the human figure. By applying his rational and geometrised language of form, he creates archetypal, balletic, mannequin-like figures, illustrating the human as a neutral, depersonalised form, exempt of expression. However, in idealistically picturing humans as so-called Kunstfiguren, he does not neglect to grant his figures a certain form of autonomy and sensitivity which he appears to deem necessary for their existence. He rather uplifts his figures away from emotionality and vulnerability to a harmonic, superior world of forms.

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