Heinrich KLEY (1863-1945). Bizarre idea,... - Lot 282 - Marie-Saint Germain

Lot 282
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Heinrich KLEY (1863-1945). Bizarre idea,... - Lot 282 - Marie-Saint Germain
Heinrich KLEY (1863-1945). Bizarre idea, 1915. Ink and colored pencil drawing, 18.7 x 18.7 cm sight. Signed upper left. Attached: a certificate of authenticity from Galerie Grapefruit moon dated January 1, 2015. Below is a translation of the gallery's blurb: "This intelligently conceived and technically brilliant dark-tinted pen and ink drawing with gouache highlights illustrates the moody, satirical vision of German expressionist artist Heinrich Kley. At first glance, we see a bear, an ogre and a frog frolicking in a circus. But on reflection, the scene becomes darker. Kley's pessimism about European man's place on the cultural and evolutionary scale is expressed in this totem pole, which shows the bear standing on the raised palm of a demon (who has the whole world in the palm of his hand), who in turn supports the drooping buttocks of a human, with his back to the viewer. A soft umbrella dangles from the man's hand, which is both a dirty joke and a highly symbolic destruction of European nations of racial and cultural superiority. Aptly titled by the artist in German text "Skurrile Idee", which translates as "Weird Idea". Heinrich Kley is best known today for his satirical, desperate and often obscene images, which reflect a maniacal distrust of the industrial revolution and its automated society. In 1907, a series of ink drawings was published in the Munich-based German expressionist art magazine "Die Jugend", which captured the growing disillusionment of fin-de-siècle German counterculture. [...] Kley's art appeared in the United States in 1937 and attracted the attention of Walt Disney & Sketch Artists from the Disney studio, including Albert Hurter, Joe Grant and James Bodrero. Hurter introduced Kley's work to the Disney studio, and Walt Disney amassed a collection of the artist's work. Images of Kley's art inspired a number of animated sequences and characters, including Night on Bald Mountain and the dancing animals in Dance of the Hours in Fantasia. In 1947, "Drawings by Heinrich Kley" was published with a preface by George Grosz. Of Kley, Grosz wrote: "Kley used the pen like a whimsical cowboy's lariat [and] is a great animal cartoonist. Like Walt Disney, he humanizes beasts [...]. I'm sure Heinrich Kley's drawings will be remembered and appreciated as long as human beings retain the ability to laugh at themselves.""
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