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Lot 138: Large Drawing by Fluxus Artist Wolf Vostell of the Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: VOSTELL, WOLF. (1932-1998). German painter, sculptor, multi-media artist, and co-founder of the Fluxus Movement and one of the originators of “Happenings.” A signed abstract drawing depicting an aerial view of the Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite and an artist’s easel (?). (“Vostell”). 1p. Folio (14½” x 21”), October 23, 1990. In Spanish with translation. ********** “Madame du Barry dreamed of a night in the palace of Olite! For Sebastia and Conchita de Girona.” ********** Vostell was a trained lithographer who ventured into less conventional media starting with Dé-collage in 1954. He studied in France, where, in 1958, he staged his first “Happening,” Theater is in the Street. The following year, he created TV Dé-coll/age, which broke new ground with the inclusion of a television in the composition, and marked the beginning of the Fluxus Movement. Fluxus’ followers included poets, composers and artists interested in experimentation with media outside of their disciplines. Vostell continued to lead Fluxus while staging Happenings and becoming a pioneer of Video and Installation art. Over the course of his extremely influential career, he worked in media ranging from paper and ink to cars and concrete. ********** The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite, also known as the Castle of Olite was begun around the 13th century and grew through different periods, giving it its characteristic haphazard arrangement of square towers, round turrets, gardens, moats, and walls. At one time it was regarded as one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe but was eventually abandoned and, later, burned during the 1813 Peninsular War to prevent it from falling into the hands of the French. Vostell’s frenetic interpretation of the castle’s grounds includes a depiction of the castle’s egg-shaped icebox, surrounded by stone stairs. ********** French courtesan Countess du Barry (Jeanne Beçu) (1743-1793) was the last mistress of Louis XV, having been raised above the station of her birth through a falsified identity and becoming known for her great beauty and extravagant dress. She allegedly funded those fleeing the French Revolution and was beheaded during the Reign of Terror. ********** Our drawing is inscribed to two women from the Catalonian city of Girona. On a large sheet of paper which has been folded into quarters. Mounting traces in the four corners with some light creasing. A rare and stunning piece of art.