As part of the Parisian Drawing Week, Christie’s will hold a series of auctions between 25-27 March, including a dedicated auction to the collection of Greta Stroeh (1939-2001) on 26 March. The collection includes around 80 works, mainly by Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966), as well as works by his first wife, Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943), his friend Alberto Magnelli (1888-1971), and fellow artists Joan Miró (1893-1983) and Georges Vantongerloo (1886-1965).
Greta Stroeh’s collection offers an exceptional tribute to Jean Arp. Covering more than thirty years of his artistic oeuvre, it testifies the eclecticism of his work, the variety of his innovative artistic language and the diversity of the techniques used: bronze or brass sculptures, duraluminium or painted wood reliefs, works on paper, collages, torn papers, lithographs, serigraphs, engravings, etchings, book illustrations, as well as a collection of poems.
Pierre Martin Vivier, Vice President and Valérie Didier, Specialist, Head of sales, comment: “We are pleased to be associated with the 21st edition of the Parisian Drawing Week. The auction of Greta Stroeh’s collection will take place during one of the most exhilarating weeks of the French art market and will offer carefully collected and exceptional works by some of the most renowned European artists.
The works, estimated between €300 and 300,000 and offered without a reserve price (up to €5,000), should attract a wide group of international collectors.”
Greta Stroeh is a name of importance within the work of the Arp Foundation and she was also well established within the wider cultural scene. Greta Stroeh was born in North Germany in 1939 and to escape a conventional education, she travelled abroad to England, France and Egypt. Around 1975, she arrived in Paris and met Marguerite Arp-Hagenbach (1902-1994), the second wife of Jean Arp. Their first meeting heralded a solid friendship that would last until Marguerite’s death in 1994. It was also the beginning of a fruitful collaboration to archive and promote Jean Arp’s work, who had passed away in 1996. A task that Marguerite Arp had been undertaking for her husband since the 1950s and which led to the creation of the Arp Foundation in 1979.
The top lot of the collection is an important bronze Torso, an emblematic piece of Arp’s Sculpture. This piece, executed in 1931, was described in detail by Greta Stroeh: “Arp manages to create inanimate matter (plaster, wood, bronze, stone) extremely alive. Their sensory range is strong and invites us to touch and to explore them, even to caress them, to participate more in their pulsation to feel their vital
breath. Arp’s torsos are already conceived as fragmented, confirming his genius ton insufflate only the essential into the work. The 1931 Torso was conceived in a fleeting impulse. […]”. (Olivier Debré, interview with Greta Stroeh and Jean-Pierre Arnaud, Angers, Sunday 8th March 1992 in op. cit., p. 31).
Auction: Thursday 26 March, 2 pm
Exhibition: From 20th to 25th March, 10am-6pm; Sunday 22 March, 2-6pm
Christie’s: 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris