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Winter Auctions 19.–20.11.2021

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 Image under artist's copyright.

Schön, Otto
1893 Suhl - 1971 Göppingen.
«Das Gesetz (the law)».
Pastel on chamois wove paper. Signed lower right and dated «Lazarett Rheinberg / Rheinland. 1917. (military hospital Rheinberg / Rhineland. 1917.)». Titled lower left. Verso on the back board inscribed by a different hand «1924 von K.M - Otto Schön - München persönlich erworben. Hammersfeld (in 1924 by K.M - Otto Schön - Munich personally purchased. Hammersfeld)» as well as with the artist’s data.
H 25, W 24 cm (passepartout). Framed.
The multifaceted artist Otto Schön was active as a painter, graphic artist and stage designer. Only a few works from his early Expressionist oeuvre have survived, as this group of works was mostly stored in his studio in Göppingen, which was looted after the end of the Second World War. His later work, which is close to Neue Sachlichkeit, is therefore more familiar to the public. In the present pastel drawing, we see a male nude of herculean dimensions, frozen in a dynamic lunge, in the midst of a steeply sloping meadow landscape in various shades of green, on which individual, silhouetted conifers thrive. The muscular athlete is shown in rear view, gazing at a mountain panorama that stretches into the depths of the picture, consisting of alternating bluish triangles, from which in turn a horizon glowing in warm colours, perhaps an auspicious dawn, stands out radiantly. The jagged, angular simplification of nature, the evenly tanned muscle parts of the steeled wanderer contrasting with geometric clarity, the backdrop-like layering of the pictorial planes and the high-contrast, three-tiered use of colour make this drawing appear to be a prime example of Expressionist colour and form. Thematically, the work embodies in the literal sense of the word the characteristic guiding ideas of the so-called Lebensreform that thrived at the same time, such as the increased interest in untouched nature, exhausting physical exercises and naturism.
Provenance: probably purchased directly from the artist, in 1924; private property Bad Säckingen.

Condition report  


hammer price: 1700,- EUR
(starting price: 1500,- EUR)