The present lot is from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. William Kugel. Acquiring works directly from Thonet and DIM, the Kugels decorated their apartment in avant-garde style. During World War II, the Kugels relocated and the contents of the apartment were shipped to Quebec and then finally to Beverly Hills. In Los Angeles, William Kugel continued to patron the arts amassing one of the largest private collections of works by Gertrud and Otto Natzler. 

Four Things to Know about Gertrud and Otto Natzler

Otto invented over 2,000 glazes, recording each one meticulously in several hand-written volumes and together he and Gertrud created over 25,000 works.

While a virtuoso in executing and exploring the subtle dimensions of form, Gertrud's works are notable in that they often contain detectable fingerprints, adding to their intimacy.

The first kiln used by the Natzlers, retired in 1982, is held in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Gertrud died in 1971, leaving 200 unglazed pieces. Otto wasn't able to work with them until a few years later, when we began creating ceramics alone for the first time. Of this he said “I could never get close to what she did...her pots are ethereal, flowing, graceful. They practically float. Mine are geometric, earthbound, massive.”

Gertrud and Otto Natzler in their first studio in Los Angeles, 1940

The really perfect pot has not yet been made and probably never will be. Yet we reach for perfection, and, if we are fortunate, the next pot we make may come closer to our visions. If it does, we shall be grateful. Which somehow sums up our credo.

Otto Natzler

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