Mar 05, 2020 - Sale 2532

Sale 2532 - Lot 408

Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 8,000
Yali und sein Weisses Weib .

Complete set of 8 etchings with drypoint, roulette and aquatint on Japan paper, 1923. Each 239x180 mm; 9 3/8x7 inches, full margins. Edition of 220. Each initialed in pencil, lower right. Printed by Fritz Voigt, Berlin. Published by Fritz Gurlitt, Berlin. Superb, dark and richly-inked, proof-like impressions.

According to Heather Hess, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, Yali und sein Weisses Weib (Yali and his White Wife) is a fictional story of an innocent European woman in a fantastical exotic land. She is a survivor of a shipwreck, and is then subsequently spared from massacre by the Ona tribe, who kill the rest of the survivors. The Ona tribe raises her as one of their own. She flees when Yali, a warrior in the tribe, attempts to abduct her, living happily alone in nature until she is recaptured and forced to marry Yali. Though the story is set in South America, Pechstein's drawings are based on his experience in the South Pacific. Both the text and the illustrations emphasize the woman's snow-white purity and depict the tribespeople as animalistic, hypersexual and uncivilized, typical of the European view of foreign lands in the 1920s. Krüger 136-144.