cultivating a close relationship with the artists, so as to maintain their own independency and impartiality. Their excellent eye and high sensitivity to quality have resulted in what is an exceptional collection of Post-Informel (Nachinformel) – ZERO Art. In the artists’ opinion, Mr and Mrs Lenz have always acquired their best pictures. Over the years and right up to the present day, Anna and Gerhard Lenz have built up close friendships with a number of artists. This has enriched their lives and brought them great happiness. They hope to be able to continue their relationships with their artist friends, and to go on collecting their works as in the past.
The ZERO group was initiated in April 1957 with a series of exhibitions around the studios of Heinz Mack and Otto Piene in Düsseldorf. It went on to become one of the most significant collaborative movements of Post War art and eventually incorporated the work of Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Günther Uecker among others. In addition to inexpensive studio space and the renowned Academy, artists were drawn to Düsseldorf by the gallery of Albert Schmela, which opened in May 1957 with an exhibition of Klein’s Monochromes and played a pivotal role in the development of ZERO art. While Klein was included in the seventh ZERO exhibition 3 in April 1958, Fontana and Manzoni contributed to the eighth show the following month. Indeed, ZERO brought together protagonists of pioneering contemporary artistic movements from across Europe, including Nouveau
réalisme and Arte Povera. The ideology of the ZERO group was voiced through its own eponymous magazine, which was published between 1958 and 1961 and included influential texts by Piene, Mack and Klein. These celebrated artists shared the common ambition to abandon art of the past, including Post War Informel painting, and start again from ‘zero’, forging new approaches to creativity and enlisting unprecedented media. Their collective innovation resulted in works of spectacular beauty that realigned audiences’ perspectives on the rapidly changing world around them, in accordance with their 1963 manifesto statement: "Zero is stillness. Zero is the beginning."
Highlights in the Collection:
YVES KLEIN 1928 - 1962
fire, body and water imprints on paper laid down on wood
140 by 300cm.
Executed in 1961.
3,500,000 GBP - 4,500,000 GBP
Spanning a monumental three metres in width, Feu 88 is the largest and most significant example of Yves Klein’s renowned Fire Paintings ever to be presented at auction. Executed in 1961, the penultimate year of Klein’s tragically brief existence and a period of phenomenal creativity, this extraordinary work is one of only seven Fire Paintings to include outlined shadows of the human form, thereby bringing together Klein’s Feu works with the iconic blue female silhouettes of his earlier Anthropométrie paintings. One of the two largest paintings of this illustrious series, which is represented in international museums including the Centre Pompidou, Feu 88 is exceptionally rare and stands as a masterpiece not only of