Lionel Feininger’s “Die Teufelssonate” at John Moran’s July 22 auction
Pasadena, Calif—On Tuesday evening, July 22, John Moran Auctioneers is very proud to offer “Die Teufelssonate,” an ink on paper by renowned German/American artist Lionel Feininger (1871-1956), as part of their Antique and Fine Furnishings Estate Sale. To preview to the auction catalog and place Internet bids, please visit www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
Lionel Feininger is best known for his work which fused Cubism with Expressionism. Some of his later works, particularly his oils on canvas, have fetched upwards of $20 million at auction. While Feininger was born in New York City, he moved to Germany in 1887 where he studied at the Berlin Academy. His paintings depicted modern life and architecture and he was considered an abstract modernist and part of the German avant-garde of the early 20th century. After spending two influential years in Paris, Feininger returned to Germany where he joined the “Berliner Secession” group. In 1919, he joined the faculty of the Bauhaus in Weimar where he remained until Hitler closed the school and some of his paintings were confiscated. Feininger was considered part of the “The Blue Four” along with Kandinsky, Klee and Von Jawlensky, and, upon confiscation of their works, the Nazi regime displayed them at the “Degenerate Art Show” in Munich in 1937. Feininger returned to the United States in 1937 where he took a teaching position at Mills College in Oakland, California.
On July 22, John Moran will offer ‘Die Teufelssonate” which Feininger painted in 1908 and as illustrated in: Berliner Illustrite Zeitung, 19 February 1911. This 1908 drawing exemplifies a pivotal shift in his artistic direction, transforming himself from master caricaturist to exemplary painter. The verticality and attenuated forms in the drawing reflect his adaptation of certain elements of the Art Nouveau movement which he would take in a more extreme direction just a few years later. It is also thought that this particular work may also be somewhat autobiographical and a reflection of Feininger’s own parents, who believed that music was a superior art form.
“Die Teufelssonate” comes to the July sale from the Marianne J. Knox Trust of Los Angeles, California. Measuring 14 by 12, this important work has been assigned a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.