Arts and Culture

The American Academy in Berlin / Villa Grisebach Fall Art Auction

A benefit auction featuring celebrated contemporary artists to help fund the Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship

A German–American bridge: A benefit auction held on November 30, 2012 at the Villa Grisebach saw celebrated contemporary artists from 
both countries pledge outstanding artworks to help fund the American Academy’s Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship. The American Academy wishes to express its enormous gratitude to contributing artists and to the Villa Grisebach for supporting this important and exciting initiative, which will be funded by the nearly €1 million raised by the auction.

As a highlight of Villa Grisebach’s two-hundredth auction, 29 works were offered by the following artists (those linked are American Academy alumni): Richard Artschwager, Georg
 Baselitz, Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Andre Butzer, Franceso Clemente, George Condo, Aaron Curry, Walter Dahn, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Mitch Epstein, Jenny Holzer, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Barry Le Va, 
Julie Mehretu, Matt Mullican, Alice Neel, Raymond Pettibon, Paul Pfeiffer, Jessica Rankin, Anselm Reyle, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Günther Uecker, Micha Ullman, and Xu Bing. Works with the highest estimated value, at roughly €150,000, are Kiefer’s large-format “Emanation,” Mehretu’s painting “Four Fold,” and Holzer’s marble base from her series “Selection from Survival,” and at €280,000, Neel’s large portrait “Dick Bagley.” The Academy is especially grateful to Tacita Dean, Alex Katz, Julie Mehretu, and Günther Uecker, all of who created works specifically for this auction. All proceeds from this auction go to support the Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship.

For the complete roster of works on sale at the November 30th auction, click on the gallery view to the right to enlarge the images on your screen.

This American Academy in Berlin initiative, supported by Max Beckmann’s granddaughter Mayen 
Beckmann, honors one of the great artists of the twentieth century. Max Beckmann fled from the 
Nazis via Holland, where he lived in poverty for a decade. He managed to secure a visa to the United States after World War II, where, for the last three years of his life, he taught at Washington University, in St. Louis, and at the Brooklyn Museum. In his spirit of lively instruction, recipients of the 
Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship will offer a master class to a group of German students
 in the fine arts and the humanities and curate a small exhibition drawn from the collections of one
 of Berlin’s National Museums.


“The American Academy is committed to facilitating the exchange of ideas by creating contexts 
wherein Germans, whether peers or students, can spend time with our American guests,” said 
Gary Smith, Executive Director of the American Academy in Berlin. “Establishing a lectureship in
the name of Max Beckmann is both an honor and obligation, and Villa Grisebach has been as
 resourceful as they have been generous in supporting this initiative.” Bernd Schultz of Villa 
Grisebach explained, “Max Beckmann has always been one of the most important German artists
for the Villa Grisebach – so it is an honor for us to show our great admiration for him through this
 auction, and for the American Academy as the preeminent institution furthering the transatlantic
 relationship. This auction is also a clear sign of the growing importance of contemporary art at the 
Villa Grisebach.”

If you would like to view the entire catalogue of the auction, please visit the Villa Grisebach website, and in German, here

To read the catalogue Foreword by Executive Director Gary Smith, please click here.

The auction preview was on view there from November 23 through November 27 (Fasanenstraße 25, Berlin). The auction took place on November 30, 2012, at 7pm, led by auctioneer Peter Graf zu Eltzp.

For those than cannot be at the auction, the event will be livestreamed here: 

https://www.villa-grisebach.de/en/auction-live/

bzw. über deutsche Seite

https://www.villa-grisebach.de/de/auktion-live/