Kandinsky (Wassily) et Marc (Franz)

Lot 61
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Estimation :
50000 - 80000 EUR
Kandinsky (Wassily) et Marc (Franz)
Ɵ Der Blaue Reiter Luxus Ausgabe, R. Piper & Co. Verlag, München, 1912. 141 reproductions in black and color. Kandinsky's color woodblock on Arches (Bogenschütze/L'Archer, Roethel 79 II), signed in pencil, and Marc's stenciled black woodblock (Fabeltier/Animal fabuleux, Lankheit 826 III), signed in pencil, in the deluxe copies. These also include a hand-colored stencil reproduction of a gouache by Marc (Deux Chevaux), which appears in a different version in the current edition of 1,200 copies (while a hand-colored stencil reproduction of a watercolor study for Kandinsky's Composition IV appears identically throughout the edition. First edition (29.5 x 22.4 cm). Binding of the deluxe edition of 60 copies: Midnight-blue full kid leather with gold printing of a woodcut by Kandinsky on the front cover and the title on the spine, in a blue cardboard slipcase with title label. A deluxe copy (no. 29) in superb condition of this landmark early avant-garde work, in its spectacular Kandinsky binding reserved for this edition, complete with the two original color woodcuts signed by Kandinsky and Marc, and its very rare slipcase here in perfect condition. Supported by patron Bernhard Koehler and Munich museum director Hugo von Tschudi (to whom the work is dedicated), L'Almanach du Blaue Reiter (Cavalier Bleu) was stripped of its original title of almanac by publisher Reinhard Piper, as the term evoked a periodical publication. Kandinsky and Marc wanted the book to present advances in contemporary art alongside works of Etruscan, Japanese, Egyptian, folk and primitive art, with contributions from David Burliuk, August Macke, Arnold Schönberg, Roger Allard, Thomas von Hartmann, Erwin von Busse, Leonid Sabanejew, Nikolai Kulbin and themselves. The 19-part summary included a quotation from Goethe, a text by Wassily Rozanov and a poem by Michaïl Kuzmin. There was also a musical section, featuring Schönberg, Alban Berg and Anton von Webern, the promoters of atonal music. From September 1 to 14, 1910, the second exhibition of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM) was held at the Thannhaüser Gallery in Munich. It was there that Franz Marc was to discover Kandinsky's works, about which he wrote a glowing article that contrasted with the disparagement in the press. On February 10, 1911, Marc visited Kandinsky for the first time in his Munich studio in Schwabing. Friendships soon grew closer in 1911, as tensions began to emerge within the NKVM. These culminated in the jury's rejection of Kandinsky's Composition V for the association's exhibition at the end of 1911, prompting Marc and others to resign. Kandinsky and Marc then organized a parallel exhibition of their own at the Thannhaüser Gallery on December 18, under the new banner of the Blaue Reiter. According to legend, the name Blaue Reiter was chosen over coffee on the Marc terrace in Sindelsdorf, because Marc loved horses, Kandinsky loved horsemen, and both loved blue... The almanac was therefore planned before the first exhibition, which was not decided until after both men had resigned from the NKVM. Shortly afterwards, war separated the friends, Kandinsky, a Russian citizen who had become undesirable, having to leave Germany for Russia, and Marc, who was mobilized and fell at Verdun in 1916. This copy is in rare condition, the finest of the ten or so we have come across. Provenance: Sammlung Olbricht, van Ham Auktionen, Cologne, September 26, 2020, no. 311.
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