Asta: 514 / Evening Sale del 11 dicembre 2020 a Monaco di Baviera Lot 223

 
223
Karl Hofer
Arbeitslose, 1932.
Olio su tela
Stima:
€ 300,000 / $ 363,000
Risultato:
€ 825,000 / $ 998.250

(25% commissione inclusa)
Descrizione oggetto
Arbeitslose. 1932.
Oil on canvas.
Wohlert 988. Monogrammed (in ligature) and dated in lower right. Verso of the stretcher inscribed with the artist's name, the title "Arbeitslose" and "Familienbild". 167 x 172 cm (65.7 x 67.7 in).

• From the artist's estate.
• Consistent provenance.
• With an impressive 90 year long exhibition history and a large number of publications.
• Main work of museum quality with striking dimensions.
• In 2018, part of the exhibition "Glanz und Elend in der Weimarer Republik" at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/Main.
• Haunting commentary on the political and social situation in early 1930s Germany
.

PROVENANCE: From the artist's estate (estate no. 383 (with a hand-numbered label on the stretcher), Wirnitzer list no. 376).
Baukunst Galerie, Cologne (commission, with a gallery label on the stretcher).
Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin (acquired from the estate, with two gallery labels on the stretcher).
Collection Deutsche Bank (acquired from aforementioned in 1986).

EXHIBITION: Requested for the exhibiton "Moderne Zeiten - Industriebilder von Adolf Menzel bis Andreas Gursky", Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, June 26 - September 26, 2021.
Marc Chagall, Karl Hofer, Franz Marc, Marianne von Werefkin, Kunsthaus Zürich, January 13.1 - February 13, 1935; Mannheimer Kunstverein, March 1935; Freiburger Kunstverein, May to June 1935, cat. no. 61, p. 5.
Karl Hofer, on occasion of his 75th birthday, Berliner Festwochen, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hardenbergstraße 33, Berlin, September 12 - October 15, 1953, cat. no. 22 (stretcher with a numbered label).
Commemorative Exhibition for Karl Hofer, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Berlin-Charlottenburg, October 11 - November 15, 1956; Badischer Kunstverein u. Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, December 9, 1956 - January 6, 1957, cat. no. 65 (with a numbered exhibition label on the stretcher).
Retrospective: Karl Hofer. Ölbilder, Aquarelle, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik, Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, January 20 - April 5, 1975, cat. no. 9 (with illu.).
Karl Hofer 1878-1955, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin, April 16 - June 14, 1978; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, August 1 - September 17, 1978, cat. no. 83, p. 172, (with color illu. on p. 114).
On occasion of Karl Hofer's 100th birthday (October 11, 1878 - April 3, 1955). Ölbilder der Jahre 1918-1955, Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, from September 4, 1978, cat. no. 10.
Karl Hofer. Malerei, Grafik, Zeichnung, Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg, Halle (Saale), November 26, 1978 - February 25, 1979, cat. no. 44, p. 147 (with illu., no. 57, p. 106).
Die Figur im Werk von Karl Hofer, Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, September 17 - November 13, 1982, cat. no. 2 (here erroneously dated 1933).
1933. Wege zur Diktatur, Berlin, January 9 - February 10, 1983; Städtische Galerie Schloss Oberhausen, February 27 - April 10, 1983; Culture Palace Lyudmila Zhivkova, Sofia, September 28 - October 26, 1983, cat. no. 39, p. 415 (with color illu. before p. 61).
Karl Hofer 1878-1955, Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin, January 26 - March 16, 1985, cat. no. 2 (with full-page color illu.).
Deutscher Kunsthandel im Schloss Charlottenburg, Orangerie, Berlin, September 12 - September 29, 1985, cat. no. 38/2, p. 215, (with color illu.).
Ich und die Stadt. Mensch und Großstadt in der deutschen Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Berlinische Galerie at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, August 15 - November 22, 1987, cat. no. 86, p. 204 (with color illu. on p. 205).
Der Traum von einer neuen Welt. Berlin 1910-1933, Internationale Tage Ingelheim, Museum Altes Rathaus, Ingelheim, April 23 - June 4, 1989, cat. no. 161, p. 52 (with color illu.), pp. 54 and 217 (with illu.).
Karl Hofer, Schloss Cappenberg, Selm, September 19 - December 15, 1991, pp. 103 (with color illu.) and 183.
Karl Hofer. Gemälde und Zeichnungen, Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Schloss Wolfsburg, January 19 - March 15, 1992, cat. no. 18.
Karl Hofer. Anmut, Elegie und äußerste Härte (exhibition on occasion of the 50th anniversary of the artist's death), Galerie Pels-Leusden, Berlin, April 5 - May 21, 2005, pp. 82f. (with color illu.).
25. Fünfundzwanzig Jahre Sammlung Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, April 30 - June 19, 2005, p. 82 (with color illu., no. 7).
Armut. Perspektiven in Kunst und Gesellschaft, Stadtmuseum Simeonstift, Trier, April 10 - July 31, 2011.
Glanz und Elend in der Weimarer Republik. Von Otto Dix bis Jeanne Mammen, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main, October 27, 2017 - February 25, 2018, p. 71 (with full-page color illu.).

LITERATURE: Karl Hofer im Mannheimer Kunstverein, in: Pfälzische Rundschau (Ludwigshafen), March 5, 1935.
Mannheimer Kunstverein, in: Hakenkreuzbanner (Mannheim), March 7, 1935.
Koch, Neue Arbeiten von Karl Hofer, in: Neues Mannheimer Volksblatt, March 8, 1935.
Karl Hofer. Ein alemannischer Maler, in: NSZ Rheinfront (Ludwigshafen), no. 58, March 9, 1935.
Karl Hofer. Der Maler unserer Zeit, in: Der Rundfunk (Berlin), January 1946, no. 6 (February 3), p. 2 (with illu.).
Adolf Jannasch, Carl Hofer, in: Aussaat, 2. 1947/48, pp. 160 and 163.
Christa Rotzoll, Wegstrecken eines Malers, in: Mannheimer Morgen, no. 236, October 10, 1953, p. 24.
Lexikon der Kunst, vol. 2, Leipzig 1971, p. 303.
Ursula Feist, Karl Hofer, Berlin 1977, p. 14.
Hans-Jörg Schirmbeck, Carl Hofer, Berlin 1974, pp. 10 and 28.
Heinz Stephan, Roboterhafte Fratzen am grünen Tisch, in: Kölnische Rundschau, no. 21, January 25, 1975, p. 19.
Gottfried Sello, Karl Hofer, in: Die Zeit (Hamburg), no. 6, January 31, 1975, p. 13.
Eo Plunien, Abschied von einer bösen Legende, in: Die Welt (Hamburg), no. 50, February 28, 1975, p. 20 and Berlin edition, p. 17.
Werner Tamms, Ernte eines tragischen Lebens, in: Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (Essen), no. 65, March 18, 1975.
Ida Katherine Rigby, Karl Hofer, New York 1976, pp. 195 and 290.
Barbara Dieterich, Anklage und Identität, in: Oberbadisches Volksblatt (Lörrach), no. 114, May 20/21, 1978.
Norbert Stratmann, Karl Hofers aufrechter Stand, in: Deutsche Volkszeitung (Frankfurt a. M.), no. 21, May 25, 1978, p. 14.
Rudolf Joeckle, Die freudlosen Bilder Karl Hofers, in: Die Rheinpfalz (Ludwigshafen), no. 178, August 5, 1978.
Dieter Hoffmann, Die Arbeitslosen und die süßen Mädchen, in: Frankfurter Neue Presse, no. 179, August 18, 1978, p. 6 (with illu.).
Franz Josef. Wehinger, Der Mensch und das Menschliche, in: Offenburger Tageblatt, no. 177, August 18, 1978 (with illu.).
Gertrud Waldecker, Die bleichen Gleichnisse einer schlimmen Zeit, in: Badische Neueste Nachrichten (Karlsruhe), no. 190, August 19, 1978, p. 13.
Andreas Franzke, Karl Hofer exhibition, in: Pantheon, 36.1978, issue 4 (Oct./Nov./Dec.), p. 336 (with illu.).
Barbara Dieterich, Außenseiter der deutschen Moderne, in: Salzburger Nachrichten, no. 233, October 7/8, 1978, p. 21.
100. Geburtstag des deutschen Malers und Grafikers Carl Hofer, in: Bibliograph. Kalenderblätter der Berliner Stadtbibliothek, 20.1978, no. 10, October 11, p. 1.
Dietmar Eisold, Kraftvolle, eindrucksvolle Bildsprache, in: Neues Deutschland (Berlin), no. 300, December 20, 1978, p. 4.
Günther Ott, Ein neues Weltbild der Menschlichkeit, in: Kölner Stadtanzeiger, no. 217, September 18, 1982, p. 24.
Doris Schreiber, Totenmasken im Spiel der Liebe, in: Kölnische Rundschau, no. 222, September 24, 1982, p. 16.
Eberhard Roters (editor), Berlin 1910-1933, Die visuellen Künste, Fribourg/Berlin 1983, p. 141 (with illu., p. 142).
Werner Langer, In stoischer Spannung, in: Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), no. 11998, March 10, 1985, p. 5.
Karl Hofer, in: Weltkunst, 55.1985, issue 4 (February 15), p. 340; p. 499 (with color illu.).
Annedore Müller-Hofstede, Orangerie ’85, in: Weltkunst, 55.1985, no. 17 (September 1), p. 2324 (titled "Arbeitslos").
Favorisiert: Der Klassizismus, in: Handelsblatt (Düsseldorf), no. 188, October 1, 1985, p. 19.
Udo Perina, Im Schatten der großen Banken, in: Zeitmagazin (Hamburg), no. 45, November 2, 1990, p. 103.
Ex. cat. Felix Nussbaum, Verfemte Kunst - Exilkunst - Widerstandskunst, Osnabrück 1990, p. 225 (as comparison).
Ralf Stiftel, Visionen von Masken und Ruinen, in: Westfälischer Anzeiger (Hamm), no. 219, September 20, 1991 (with illu.) and in: Soester Anzeiger.
Höllenfahrt eines Expressionisten durch sein Zeitalter, in: Hellweger Anzeiger (Unna), no. 232, October 3, 1991 (with illu.).
Michael Vaupel, Außergewöhnliche Hofer-Ausstellung auf Schloss Cappenberg, in: Westfalenspiegel, 40.1991, no. 4 (Oct./Nov./Dec.), p. 61 (with illu.).
Karl Hofer, Malerei hat eine Zukunft, Leipzig/Weimar 1991 (with color illu., no. 26, p. 457).
Ausstellung Karl Hofer auf Schloss Cappenberg, in: Rundblick (Hamm), October 16, 1991 (with illu.).
Karl Hofer, Ich habe das Meine gesagt!, Berlin 1995, p. 12 (with illu.).
Ludwig Zerull, Über Karl Hofer, in: Künstler, 41/1998, issue 4, p. 8 (with colro illu., no. 9, p. 10).
Deutsche Bank AG (editor), Man in the Middle. Collection Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt am Main 2002, p. 103 (with color illu.).
"[There has] never been an art that has survived its time which was not a fully valid expression of its time."
Karl Hofer, Kunst und Politik, 1948, quote from: ex. cat. Karl Hofer. Von Lebensspuk und stiller Schönheit, Emden 2012.

Essay
Karl Hofer's incomparable artistic work
Karl Hofer is one of the great mavericks of 20th century art. His paintings are often categorized as Expressive Realism, however they contain influences from Classicism and Romanticism. They also contain particular close influence from art of New Objectivity, owing to their strict formalism, clear, objective presentation and social commentary.Hofer sees his figures in a unique, characteristic way. They are always portrayed sculpturally and immobile-- an elementary component of the overall composition of the work on offer.
Their emaciated, expressionless and rigid faces, painted in an unhealthy light skin color, stand out through the threatening dark background. Through this, the artist directs the viewer's gaze towards them, their fate and the overall political situation in Germany in the early 1930s.

Germany in crisis
By the end of the 1920s, the number of unemployed people during the Weimar Republic had risen to 1.5 million. The so-called "Black Thursday" on Wall Street on October 1929, a few years later, led to a full-blown global economic crisis. Together with the deflation and austerity policies prevailing at the time, the course of reparation payments after the First World War caused unemployment rates to skyrocket and further weakens the already ailing German economy. By 1931 the number of job seekers had already tripled and by 1932 - the year the work offered here was created - around 5.6 million people were unemployed. With his work, Hofer delivers an extremely topical account of this social situation.

The prophetic picture: Dark premonition of the looming apocalyptic events
Today's viewer, however, can recognize far more than simply an account of a critical political situation. The men are seated and reclined on the dirt, with patched clothes and grave facial expressions imprinted by life. The trees surrounding them are bare and almost skeletal, without a sign of leafy green or any indication of inherent fertility or reocurring springtime. They frame the group like a theater backdrop and lay out their long, thin branches over the already oppressive scenery. The backdrop depicts a dark, cloudy sky, where not a single illuminating or warm ray of sun penetrates the scene. Hofer seems to anticipate a gloomy premonition of calamity and an unimaginable apocalyptic tragedy-- an indication of the political crisis that immediately followed. During this period, the democtratic parliamentary system had already begun to crack, crumbling and finally collapsing when Adolf Hitler came to power. On January 30th 1933, Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor.

Defamation, oppression and resistance
Hofer critiqued emerging fascists on several occasions. Whilst he pointed out to the danger they pose, he saw himself increasingly exposed to political attacks. Hofer was at the height of his career at this time. Since 1922, he had been teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and in 1928, he was appointed board member of the Berlin Secession and became member of the extended board of the Deutsche Künstlerbund (German Association of Artists). In 1929, he joined the Senate of the Prussian Academy of the Arts. At that time his works were on display in 27 different museums, before his success came to an abrupt end. In June 1933, he was suspended as university professor and four years later more than 300 of his artworks were labeled "degenerate art". His artworks were removed from public collections and museums, nine of which were incorporated into the Munich exhibition "Degenerate Art". The Reich Chamber of Culture imposed an occupational and exhibition ban on him. Nevertheless, the artist continued to work and resisted repression and professional denunciation.

A masterpiece of German art history

With the work offered here, including the figure's elaborate, almost classicist composition, the delicately worked-out facial expressions and the symbolism inherent to it, Hofer pieced together an important historical commentary. The fragile and harrowing situation in his home country in 1932 brought about a year of decisive and fateful significance. Through this striking portrayal of poverty and hopelessness, of fear and self-abandonment, as well as through his subliminal, auspicious hint of what follows, Hofer not only outlines a significant artistic testimony but also paints one of the greatest masterpieces of 20th century German Art. [CH]
223
Karl Hofer
Arbeitslose, 1932.
Olio su tela
Stima:
€ 300,000 / $ 363,000
Risultato:
€ 825,000 / $ 998.250

(25% commissione inclusa)