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Lot 223: Christian Rohlfs, Sonnenblume, 1934
December 2, 2016
Cologne, GermanyLive Auction
Description: Monogrammed and indistinctly dated 'CR 34' in yellow ochre lower right. Numbered and titled "Nr. 10 Sonnenblume" by Paul Vogt in pencil verso.“Every painting by Rohlfs focuses on a specific subject that defines it, but is not itself shown. What he places before our eyes are approximations; the subject emerges out of them as we look. In the painting it appears as 'light' - as a transparent, permeable and undefined substance - in order to then, in the course of its being looked at, become that which it can in no way be in the painting: a specific space, a living thing, scent, energy, something alien, a story, something ephemeral, a moment that fulfils itself.” (Erich Franz, Präsenz des Unabgrenzbaren: Zu den späten Temperabildern von Christian Rohlfs, in: Achim Sommer/Erich Franz: Christian Rohlfs: Das Licht in den Dingen, Cologne 1999, p. 15).Christian Rohlfs's late work can be seen as the climax of his vibrant and multifaceted oeuvre, as the final synthesis of his Realist, Impressionist and Expressionist artistic principles.As early as 1911 Christian Rohlfs had already said that he did not wish to paint pictures of nature, but instead to provide himself with material from it (cf. ibid., p. 14). The present work is thus to be understood less as a depiction of a sunflower than as an exploration of the immaterial qualities of colour. At the same time, the bloom's nature, its growth, blossoming and withering refer equally to the metaphysical process of painting as a productive act of visualisation and to the ephemeral presence of the appearance of colour and form.
Condition Report: With Studio traces, the colours very fresh.
Notes: VAT: Margin scheme
Provenance: Acquired by the former owner via Paul Vogt, Essen, in the 1970s; family possession since, Rhineland
Dimensions: 78 x 57 cm
Artist or Maker: Christian Rohlfs
Medium: Water tempera, brushed and scratched, on firm watercolour laid paper Framed under glass