Cissie Kean (1871-1961), Target and Flower, c. 1925
Oil on canvas
46 x 54.5 cm
Signed with Studio stamp verso
Cissie Kean was born in London in 1871 into a wealthy family of German coffee merchants. Although her interest in painting was established at an early age, her family did not think that a career as a painter would be compatible with her social background.
After sustaining sever injury during a riding accident as a young adult, Cissie decided to dedicate her life to painting. She went to Paris where she studied for a number of years at the Académie Julian and was awarded a medal in 1906. The work of André Lhote and Jean Marchand influenced her painting during this first Paris period.
During the First World War, she returned to her family in London, setting up a studio and travelling around England with fellow female artists such as Bertha Johnson and Lisa Sampson, regularly attending painting groups. During the period 1916-1919, she found herself painting in Chipping Campden with New Zealand artist Frances Hodgkins.
She spent time in Léger’s atelier where she found her true artistic identity working in oils. She started experimenting with keeping the very careful balance between representation and abstraction which the cubists sought to maintain.
Cissie Kean was an independent, single woman of means and was able to live her dream. However, at the request of her family, she remained in the background and her work was never commercially accredited.
In London, Cissie Kean was one of the founding members of the Three Arts Club,
Cissie Kean passed away in 1961, aged ninety.
Kean’s paintings have long remained unknown. Strong opposition from her family in London forced her to keep her artistic activities very private.
Whitford Fine Art has represented the Cissie Kean Estate since 1994.
The Estate of the Artist
Reinhold Koehler (1919-1970), Raum-Feld-Körper, Contre-Collage, 1963
Paper, glass, glue and ink laid down on canvas
73 x 50 cm
Signed and dated lower right
Price: £ 18,000 plus any applicable taxes
Reinhold Koehler is a German Abstractionist whose creative spirit was awakened by Kurt Schwitters. In the two decades after the Second World War and his untimely death in 1970, Koehler practiced the avant-garde move- ments of ZERO, ‘Nouvelles Realités’ and Matter-Painting. During the 1950s, Koehler developed the principle of ‘décollage’ into a radical expression of torn structures carved out from card by knife, which bear testimony to Koe- hler’s dedication to the aggressive-destructive moment, tamed by controlled masterly execution. In 1963, Koehler reached another creative height with the production of his unique glass collages known as ‘Contre-Collages’. Layers of paper sourced from newspapers, advertisements, magazines and printing materials were glued onto a piece of glass, which Koehler then smashed with a hammer. Subsequently, he covered the broken glass with black or coloured ink which could seep into the cracks, leaving on the paper underneath a linear image created by pure chance.
These works are a testimony to Koehler’s powerful creative mind and individual expression which can be situated central to the German 1950s avant-garde, matching the endeavours of Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, Emil Schumacher and Wolf Vostell.
Koehler’s works are present in countless museums including: Kunsthalle, Bielefeld; Museum Ostwall, Dortmund; Museumlandschaft Hessen, Kassel; Landesmuseum, Münster; Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden; Märkisches Mu- seum, Witten; Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna.
One of London's leading international Art Galleries, Whitford Fine Art specialise in European and British 20th Century painting and sculpture, with an emphasis on Post-War Abstraction and British Pop Art.
Founded in 1973 by Adrian Mibus and Louise Whitford, the gallery offers over forty years experience in art buying, selling and advising. The Gallery also offers valuation services, curatorial advice and assistance in collection building and display. Over forty years, Whitford Fine Art has regularly lent to museums in the UK and abroad and has presented a vast exhibition programme, covering the movements of Belle Époque, Orientalism, Pre-Raphaelites, Symbolism, Vienna Secession, Expressionism, Cubism, Ecole de Paris, Modern British Art and Pop Art.
Whitford Fine Art is proud to manage the estates of artists Caziel, Mildred Bendall and Joseph Lacasse, and to represent artists Clive Barker, Derek Boshier, Georges Bernède and Frank Avray Wilson.
Whitford Fine Art exhibits at art fairs in London and Brussels. The Gallery is also a member of SLAD.