Lot 81
Otto Gutfreund (1889 - 1927) A MASK WITH A NECKLACE

29 cm (h)

Starting price
280 000 CZK
   |   10 980 €
Price realized
420 000 CZK
   |   16 471 €
price without premium
Polychrome fired clay. Marked on underside in pencil “vydáno ve trech exemplárich / c. 2” [three copies issued / no. 2] The time between his return to Paris from Bohemia in late November 1919 to January 1920 was a watershed period for Otto Gutfreund. As his correspondence suggests, not only his formal structure, but also the subjects of his work drastically changed. Without the use of modulation finesse or added psychological meanings; only in smooth, rounded, modulated forms does it achieve new syntheses. It presents the picture of man suddenly, completely, once and for all. The closed form corresponds to this, devoid of self-serving games emphasizing the material or volume. The surface is smooth and modulation uninterrupted; the shape is a seemingly faithful representation of the model, but is refined. In his portraits, Gutfreund presented his own interpretation of the subject. His work with mask motifs is connected with this: the mask symbolizes the mystery of man and non-severability of his nature. A representative example of this interpretation is Mask with a Necklace, suppressing all characteristic features to leave behind only the mask face with hollow eyes and an indicated nose and mouth. Otto Gutfreund, one of the founders of Czech modern sculpture whose work enjoys unceasing interest among collectors, is one of the most important Czech sculptors of international stature. Ref.: Catalogue, National Gallery in Prague: Otto Gutfreund, Trade Fair Palace (14 December 1995–14 April 1996), p. 67. Catalogue raisonné: No. 101, p. 214. Jiri Setlik, Otto Gutfreund, cesta ke kubismu, Gallery 2012, p. 196.

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