Thursday, 26 July 2012
News from ebay: von Bresslern Roth's 'Baboons'
For starters you can ignore the sales talk about Bresslern Roth being one of the most influential linocutters of the C20th. The fact is she is one of the least original but she was a pretty good designer, even though her groups-of-animals idea was taken wholesale from LH Jungnickel, and her printmaking skills are superb. This is why she is worth buying despite the hyperbole.
Unfortunately 'Baboons' finds her at her least convincing. For some unknown reason she decided to make two of the baboons almost exactly the same. Where Jungnickel introduces character and his own droll sense of humour, Bresslern Roth depends on repetition. Sometimes it comes off; here it is standard stuff. The print of wolves walking down through snowy woodland is exquisite; this one, for all its similarities, doesn't compare. Admittedly, I have only seen what you see here. The print will look better once you see it. But I would guess it has been picked up relatively cheaply and it now finds itself on British ebay for the minimum starting price you might expect to pay - £600 to you, and probably more to someone else.
As Klaus mentions LH Jungnickel's Blue Parrots in the comments, I've added an image of the woodcut that's for sale on Austrian ebay at a starting price of €600. His work is very different from Bresslern Roth's smooth productions, with all their muted tastefulness. Her prints are generally small, some of his surprisingly large and he is serious about pictorial space, decorative effect and the expressive qualities of woodcut. He never once makes any attempt at stylishness. In fact, I was taken aback by how rough his Flamingoes was when I found it by chance a couple of weeks ago at the V&A in London. I wondered then what Klaus would have thought about it.
And if you don't believe me, this is what the market says about Jungnickel's Tigerkopf , shown here in the frame it was sold in at Dorotheum in Vienna in June of last year. It fetched €6,000.