Caught! Pierrot puts on the look of innocence and tries to turn away while Harlequin grabs the opponent firmly by the shoulder. Actually the moment of laughter. However, in “Russian Ballet” Max Pechstein did not focus on the comical commedia dell’arte, but instead froze the antipodes as if in a snapshot.

In 1909 Pechstein attended a special performance of the Ballets Russes in Berlin, which art impresario Paul Cassirer had organized exclusively for his circle. “In the audience, starting with Gerhart Hauptmann and Max Liebermann, sat everyone who wrote, painted and carved in stone. The applause was like a hurricane,” remembered acting legend Tilla Durieux. The Parisian troupe also left a lasting impression on Max Pechstein.

The 27-year-old had just returned from a long stay in Paris and in the annual exhibition of the Berlin Secession – where Impressionism actually set the tone – he achieved his artistic breakthrough with his Brücke Expressionism inspired by Cézanne and Matisse.

Pechstein’s masterpiece, which has been presented in numerous museum exhibitions and has been in the family since 1956, tops Grisebach’s summer auctions with an estimated price of two to three million euros. A total of 660 works of art – from Albrecht Dürer to Michael Sailstorfer – will compete in the six auctions with an average estimate of 16 million euros.

Max Beckmann’s “Bathers with a green cabin and skippers in red trousers” on the beach at Zandvoort was sold to the Kunstmuseum Den Haag by Grisebach last winter for over 2.3 million euros. Now, with “Gray Beach”, a smaller but just as gorgeous beach scene from Scheveningen, near The Hague, is about half up. A panoramic seascape that Beckmann created in 1928 in enchanting shades of gray around the ocher beach.

In addition to Classic Modernism, the “Selected Works” score with a strong range of art after 1945. Two colors of blue. In 1962 and 1981, Hans Hartung painted the magical sky over the Côte d’Azur – where he and the Norwegian painter Anna-Eva Bergman moved into their house and studios in Antibes in 1973, recently renovated and opened to the public by the Fondation Hartung-Bergman became.

The abstract play of lines rises up on a monochrome background: as a loosely conceived rhythm of verticals and horizontals, as a dynamic surge in the summer light (estimates between €80,000 and €150,000).

“The open nomadic, expansion, not demarcation, gives freedom,” wrote Ernst Wilhelm Nay in the 1960s. A maxim of timeless topicality. In 1964, the year he took part in the Documenta for the third time, Nay produced “Mitgrüner Disk” (€250,000 to €350,000), one of three paintings on offer that celebrate his abstraction from the pure movement of color – in other words, pure freedom.

Gordon Matta-Clark uncovered this not only in two dimensions, but also in architecture and sculpture with his cuts in space. In the context of “Office Baroque” – one of the most famous cuttings that the American artist realized in Antwerp in 1977 – the sectional drawing “Circle Grid Overlay” (200,000 to 250,000 €) was created.

Anyone who misses works by Emil Nolde can find them in the special catalog “Collection Adalbert

Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Museum Folkwang in Essen, the Colsman catalog offers over 60 works from the estate of the brother-in-law of Folkwang founder Karl Ernst Osthaus. Colsman was connected to the museum association for decades, but above all to the artists around this “sign of the sky” – as Freund Nolde called it.

Another focus of the collection is Christian Rohlfs, whose “Garden in Soest” lures with sweeping, fleeting lines. In addition, with Feininger, Dix and Mataré, with Else Lasker-Schüler and Hermann Hesse, a lively cross-section of the early 20th century is assembled – considering the photographs by Albert Renger-Patsch.

Karin Kneffel’s diptych “(F XXXVIII)” arouses the highest expectations of contemporary art at 150,000 to 200,000 euros. Peaches as beautiful and perfect as nature would ever create. With Kneffel, the traditional still life, painted with delicately glazed layers of oil, acquires something uncanny. Deep beneath the oversized fruit, the tiny landscape in Pop Art format, over 12 feet wide, seems like a distant memory of nature.