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AUCTION 61 21. September 2019
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KatNr. 370 Gösta Adrian-Nilsson

370   Gösta Adrian-Nilsson "Telephone tower" (Old telephone tower in Klarakvarteren, Stockholm). 1917.

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson 1884 Lund – 1965 Stockholm

Watercolour, in parts with subjacent pencil drawings, on chamois coloured cardboard. Monogrammed "G.A.N." and dated bottom right. Denoted "Trikå" (tricot) at the centre bottom of the drawing. Verso top left with the label of the art exhibition "Der Sturm", director: Herwarth Walden, Berlin, denoted in typewriter and presumably mistakenly mistitled "Telefonsturm". The centre of the cardboard verso with a voided inventory stamp. The top middle verso with the Roman numeral "I" in black water colour, partly covered by an all-side adhesive paper tape.

Provenance: estate Friedrich Bienert (1891 Dresden – 1969 West-Berlin).

In 1887 an approximately 45 m high telephone tower (telefontornet) was built in the centre of Stockholm in order to connect about 5.500 telephone lines in the Swedish capital. The quadrangular metallic lattice structure was a symbol of a new technological age and an impressive example for the industrial architecture at the end of the 19th century, creating buildings such as the famous contemporaneous Eiffel Tower in Paris. Even though the Stockholm telephone tower lost its function in 1913 when most cables were run subsurface, it left its mark on the cityscape of Stockholm until 1953 when the building had to be torn down after a fire.
Gösta Adrian-Nilsson owned a studio in Stockholm from 1917-1919 after he had returned to his hometown Lund with diverse artistic impressions from a one-year stay in Berlin. In the following, so-called "Stockholm years" he created works of art under the influence of cubism, futurism and abstract art - including the motif of the telephone tower. Apparently G.A.N. had a direct view onto the tower from his studio (compare the painting "Min ateljé / Interiör" (My Studio) from 1919, Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm). A historical photo shows the artist in his work coat on a bridge in Stockholm with the distinctive tower in the background.
In his water colour "Telefonturm" (1917), G.A.N. impressively depicts his occupation with the continental art movements. The geometrical basic form of the composition and the bright colours refer to Wassily Kandinsky whose art he introduced in a publication for his exhibition in Gummesons art gallery in Stockholm in 1916. Evidently G.A.N. handed the water colour - among other works - to the director of the gallery "Sturm" Herwarth Walden in Berlin who was planning his 58th exhibition for December 1917 with G.A.N., Paul Klee and Gabriele Münter. Eleven works by G.A.N. were part of this exhibition, most likely the water colour "Telefonturm" was not on display as it is not mentioned in the catalogue.

Lit.: GAN. Gösta Adrian-Nilsson 1884–1965. Ausstellungskatalog Malmö Konsthall. Malmö, 1984.

Ragnar von Holten: Surrealism i svensk konst. Stockholm,1969. S. 30–36.

Exhibition catalogue "Der Sturm". Leitung: Herwarth Walden. Dezember 1917, Achtundfünfzigste Ausstellung. Gösta Adrian-Nilsson, Paul Klee, Gabriele Münter. Gemälde und Aquarelle, Zeichnungen. Berlin, 1917.

Hans-Peter Lühr: Friedrich Bienert und der Geist von Weimar. Eine biografische Studie. In: Dresdner Hefte. Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte. 31. Jg, Heft 116, 4/2013. S. 55–64.

Each corner with a pinhole. Top right corners with inconspicuous crease, cardboard minimally deformed. Paint layer with scattered, minimal scratches (top left margin in the black and blue area, in and top right of the characters. Bottom and right edge of margin with sporadic, inconspicuous soiled trace (graphite?). White inner area of the top right cloud with a trace of graphite or coal. Margins verso with an all-side older, in parts loosened adhesive paper tape from a former frame. Gallery "Sturm" label and the Roman numeral partly covered by the paper tape.

49 x 39 cm. 30.000-50.000 €
* Droit-de-suite of 2.00 % applies.
sold at 120.000 €
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Prices shown are estimate prices. The majority of the lots is taxed according to "Differenzbesteuerung", so there is no V.A.T. on the item itself.

* Item of artist registered with the VG Bildkunst, upon which a droit-de-suite fee will be raised, are marked as "Droit-de-suite of 2,5 % applies"". (conditions of sale paragr. 7.4.)

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