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Lot 3480* - A181 PostWar & Contemporary - Saturday, 01. July 2017, 01.30 PM


(Kaliningrad 1920–2012 Zurich)
Untitled. Around 1970.
English cement.
Height 25 cm.

We thank Ulrich Meinherz, Kesselhaus Josephsohn, St. Gallen, for his scientific support. The work is recorded under number: 3198.

- Artist's studio.
- Formerly collection Paul Nizon.

Hans Josephsohn is one of the most well-known contemporary Swiss sculptors.
He was born in 1920 in the former Königsberg, East Prussia, to a Jewish merchant family. He was on a stay in Florence when in 1937 he was obliged to leave Italy and, unlike his family, was able to flee to Switzerland, where he obtained citizenship in 1964. In Zurich he studied under the sculptor Otto Müller. His works appeared consistently in exhibitions from 1964, but the breakthrough at international level only came in the early 2000s, with exhibitions at numerous venues including the Diözesanmusem Kolumba in Cologne, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 2003 the sculptor received the art prize of the city of Zurich, and the Kesselhaus Josephsohn (boiler house museum) in St. Gallen opened with a permanent exhibition of an alternating selection of his works. The foundry which produces his bronzes is attached to the Kesselhaus.

Sculptures in plaster occupy an important place in Josephsohn’s oeuvre. On the one hand they serve as models for his bronze sculptures, which are cast using the lost wax technique. On the other hand, the soft and quick-drying plaster offers the sculptor the possibility of a very direct manipulation of the material using his hands and the palette knife. This very raw and intense treatment of the plaster also determines the surface of the sculpture offered here at auction.

Josephsohn’s subject matter, in his large scale as well as his small format works, is without exception that of man. Affected by his past, he repeatedly poses the question of man’s existence and the conditions surrounding it. Even if he does not find a definitive answer to this question, he nevertheless always looks for it in man’s physical presence.

CHF 20 000 / 30 000 | (€ 20 620 / 30 930)

Sold for CHF 22 580 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.