News-Antique.com - Nov 20,2009 - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2009 --- Sotheby’s is delighted to
announce that in February 2010, as part of its London
Contemporary Art Auction, it will offer for sale a group of 49
significant and representative works from the renowned Sammlung Lenz Schönberg Collection of ‘Zero-Art’, which Mr and Mrs Lenz assembled over a period of 50 years. The auction of pieces, in several different media, from their private collection is set to include works by leading Contemporary and Post-War artists, such as Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Günther Uecker, Roman Opalka and Victor Vasarely, who belonged to
the European movement ‘Zero’. Combined, these works are estimated to realise in excess of £12 million.
Commenting on the Lenz Schönberg Collection and the sale of these important works, Cheyenne Westphal, Chairman Contemporary Art Sotheby’s Europe, said: “The collection of Mr and Mrs Gerhard Lenz is the largest and most comprehensive group of museum-quality ‘Zero’ movement art ever to have been assembled. To be offering for sale this representative selection of works from a collection of such outstanding provenance and quality is a great privilege for Sotheby’s. We anticipate that the appearance of these works at auction early next year will further advance the 2 international appreciation of this pivotal period of art history and generate tremendous excitement among collectors and connoisseurs of Post-War and Contemporary Art around the world.”
After 50 years Anna and Gerhard Lenz look back on a satisfying and eventful time of vital engagement with
contemporary art in Europe. They have assembled a comprehensive collection of 600 works and exhibited them
repeatedly with their own funding. In all there have now been thirteen museum exhibitions, including museums in Barcelona, Frankfurt, Madrid, Munich, Moscow, Salzburg and Warsaw. Most important to Mr and Mrs Lenz has been to prove that these artists, of whom there are 50 in all, represent the same point of view while remaining independent of one another – spiritually and effectively presenting a shared consciousness of Europe in artistic terms. After the apocalypse of the Second World War and the defeat of fascism with its contempt of humanity, a new world
opened up. Zero incorporates the vision of a brighter and more peaceful world, one that engages with the fundamental principles of monochrome and dynamism, movement and light. ZERO demonstrates creative energy and an unrestrained will to new departures, powered by eros and spirituality.
Commenting on their decision to auction 49 works from the Lenz Schönberg Collection, Mr and Mrs Lenz said: “The paintings being offered for sale have been heartfelt acquisitions, picture by picture. They are major works of the Lenz Schönberg Collection and still mean a very great deal to us. My wife and I have now reached an age where we are compelled to tighten up the collection and make ready for it to be passed on. The remaining works in the Collection will continue to be preserved and looked after by a Foundation.”