Arts and Culture

Max Beckmann Benefit Auction a Great Success

A benefit auction at the Villa Grisebach on November 30 raised a million euros for the Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship at the American Academy in Berlin

Over 200 art lovers and collectors attended the Max Beckmann benefit auction at the Villa Grisebach on the evening of November 30. The auction brought a total of € 1,000,000* and witnessed nearly all 29 pledged artworks being sold. The proceeds will help fund the American Academy’s Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship. Auction highlights included artworks on offer by Tacita Dean, Alex Katz, Julie Mehretu, and a nail sculpture by Günther Uecker, all of them specifically created for the auction..

The sale was led by Julie Mehretu‘s painting Four Fold, which sold for € 268,400. Jenny Holzer‘s marble base Selection for Survival: People Look Like … , from 2006, sold for € 97,600. The auction’s greatest surprise was the spectacular sale of Günther Uecker’s nail sculpture Struktur Abgesunken for € 195.200, which was estimated at €50,000 - € 70,000. A Max Beckmann charcoal drawing of Henry R. Hope (1950), donated by his granddaughter Mayen Beckmann, was sold for € 19,520 to the Indiana University Art Museum, which already has a Beckmann oil painting of Hope and his family in its collection.

The Max Beckmann initiative, supported by his granddaughter Mayen, honors one of the great artists of the twentieth century. In the spirit of Max Beckmann, whose teaching was evident and much adored during his post-war years in the US, the Academy will bring distinguished artists from the US to Berlin for sustained interaction with German students and to curate a small exhibition from the collection from one of Berlin’s great museums.

“We recognize that this is an unusual undertaking for an academic institution and are overwhelmed by the generosity of the artists and benefactors,” said the Academy’s Executive Director Gary Smith. “Planning is underway, and we have agreed with the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz to host the first Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitor in 2015.”

* All sales incl. 22% buyer’s premium