Zero and Forma 1, Minimalism and Abstraction, Art Informel and Tachisme: avant-garde movements blossomed in post-war Europe as artists strived to use pure forms to develop a new kind of artistic language that broke tradition and reflected a fragmented world. At Dorotheum's upcoming modern and contemporary auctions on November 27-30, many works of this era are up for sale.

The Düsseldorf artist group ‘Zero’, founded in in Germany 1958 by Otto Piene and Heinz Mack, attempted to start anew with innovative ideas, dismissing any pre-war art movements. Günther Uecker was one of their most important representatives who, in 1961, gained notoriety with his finely-composed nail works. One of his recent nail pictures, Field, Nails, Dispersion, Graphite of 2012-13, articulates the post-war psyche.

One of the most important artists of this epoch was Ernst Wilhelm Nay, with his work Harmony, which dates from the creative period in which he explored the influence of music on the process of painting.

In Italy, the artist Carla Accardi was one of the founders of the group ‘Forma 1’ in 1946. She, like the German avant-garde, took up the challenge of abandoning everything that had already existed. Accardi pursued this goal with her characteristic white-on-black paintings.

Over the course of his career, Alberto Burri developed his own interpretation of ‘Art Informel’, using a variety of materials, such as wood, sacks, iron or, as in the present case, Celotex, an insulating material made from pressed organic materials. After the application of a pastose paint layer, the actual work begins, and Burri analytically examined and changed the surface.

For Schifano, who was inspired by representatives of the Italian Renaissance as well as those of Futurism, his participation in the exhibition New Realists in New York (along with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein) transformed his style. From then on, elements of Pop Art found their way into Schifano's works, with which he addressed the increasing amounts of technology in society.

In addition to representatives from Italy and Germany, contemporary artists from other countries are represented in the auction, including Alex Katz and Tom Wesselmann from the United States; Bernar Venet from France; Victor Vasarely from Hungary; and Julije Knifer from Croatia. Austria, the host country of the auction, includes Hans Staudacher, Arnulf Rainer, Alfons Schilling, Hans Bischoffshausen and Maria Lassnig.

Among the thick black lines and austere themes typical of Bernard Buffet's work, this work shows that the artist was not only a painter but an excellent graphic artist. Buffett's handling of the post-war situation was different from that of his non-objective contemporaries. Here, he portray his wife Annabel, whom he staged here with an unusually colorful palette as a Matador.

In addition to works by Carl Moll and Giorgio de Chirico, the bronze Standing Figure by the eminent Austrian sculptor Fritz Wotruba is also presented in the auction. The figure, created in 1958 in a limited edition of only 12 pieces, belongs to Wotruba's late work, in which he abandoned the previously pursued figurative harmony in favor of an abstract geometry.

Dorotheum’s auction week concludes with a sale of wristwatches and pocket watches on November 30.

Discover all lots from Dorotheum on Barnebys

 

 

Comment