“Vintage prints by American photographer Imogen Cunningham are scarce in the USA. The fact that such a work is now offered in Europe, in Germany, respectively, is almost a small sensation," says auctioneer Robert Ketterer. The gelatin silver print from the early 1920s will be called up in this year's final auction at Ketterer Kunst in Munich on 4 December.
In the early 1920s Imogen Cunningham pioneered the field of photography. She discovered the poetic side of the world of plants. Edward Weston suggested a selection of this work complex of flowers for the 1929 Werkbund (Work Federation) exhibition in Stuttgart. Among the most felicitous works of this time is “Cotyledon." This extremely rare gelatin silver print from the early 1920s will be called up with an estimate between € 40.000-60.000 ($ 55,000-83,000).
Other fields of Imogen Cunningham‘s intensive artistic activities were portrait- and nude photography, however, plants occupy a special position in her oeuvre. They are a clear expression of her early longing for new aesthetics. The botanic documentation comes second, what the artist was rather interested in was to depict the abstract character of her subjects, which she attained with her extreme close-ups. The organic play of forms alone determines the image’s content, but yet, the realistic record of nature remained her superior goal.
Imogen Cunningham was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1883. After she had successfully completed studies of chemistry at the Washington University, she worked in the studio of Edward S. Curtis in Seattle before she went to Dresden in 1907 to study photo chemistry at the ‘Technische Hochschule’ on a scholarship. In 1910 she returned to the USA, opened her own portrait studio and moved to California a couple of years later where she married Edward Weston, who had recognized her talent and supported her. Together with other photo artists such as Ansel Easton Adams and Williard van Dyke they founded the group “f/64“ in 1932.
Until 1935 Imogen Cunningham was regularly active for the magazine Vanity Fair. Today works by the artist are classics of photography, but she already belonged to the most outstanding photo artists of the 20th in her lifetime, as numerous exhibitions and awards are proof of.
Along with this icon of Modern Photoghraphy, the Auction of Modern Art and Post War/Contemporary Art also comprises works by renowned artists such as Horst Antes, Stephan Balkenhol, Willi Baumeister, Conrad Felixmüller, Keith Haring, Hans Hartung, Jörg Immendorff, Anish Kapoor, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Martin Kippenberger, Paul Klee, Fritz Koenig, Sol LeWitt, Markus Lüpertz, August Macke, Franz Marc, Marino Marini, László Moholy-Nagy, Johann Georg Müller, Gabriele Münter, Pablo Picasso, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch, Gerhard Richter, Christian Rohlfs, Emil Nolde, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Julian Schnabel, Kazuo Shiraga, Günther Uecker, Wols and Richard Ziegler. (For details see press release from 2 November 2010).
Preview (selected works)
10 November Galerie Anita Beckers Frankenallee 74 60327 Frankfurt
12 November F. G. Conzen Völklinger Str. 24 40221 Düsseldorf
16/17 November Ketterer Kunst Am Meßberg 1 20095 Hamburg
19-26 November Ketterer Kunst Fasanenstr. 70 10719 Berlin
Preview (all works)
27 Nov. - 3 Dec. Ketterer Kunst Joseph-Wild-Str. 18 81829 Munich-Riem(fairgrounds)
Auction Ketterer Kunst Joseph-Wild-Str. 18 81829Munich-Riem (fairgrounds)
4 December 2 p.m. Modern Art
followed by Post War/Contemporary Art