Alex Katz Painting Stolen From Munich Gallery in Broad Daylight

'Box Flower 1' was swiped off the wall of Galerie Klüser during its opening hours.

This painting by Alex Katz, Box Flower I (1967), was stolen from a Munich gallery in February. Image courtesy Munich Police Department.

Police in Germany are currently seeking information about an Alex Katz painting that was stolen from Munich’s Galerie Klüser in broad daylight.

Titled Box Flower 1, the small, 9 by 12 inch work is worth tens of thousands of dollars. It had been hanging in a back room of the gallery when a thief unscrewed it from the wall during opening hours, and walked out with it, unnoticed by gallery staff, according to Munich’s Abendzeitung.

The theft occurred between Wednesday, February 22 at 2 pm, and Thursday, February 23 at 3 pm, from the gallery’s location on Türkenstrasse, in Munich’s Maxvorstadt neighborhood. Police, however, only made the theft public last Friday.

The gallery’s intern reportedly noticed the missing painting on February 23. A similar painting had recently been sold, and the intern mistakenly thought that its disappearance had to do with the sale, and did not think anything had gone awry.

Galerie Klüser has represented Katz since 1989. Box Flower 1 was on view as part of the exhibition “Hommage à ALEX KATZ,” which occupied the gallery’s two locations, on Türkenstrasse and the nearby Georgenstrasse. The exhibition was on view from February 7 to March 25.

Katz is known for his distinct style of portraiture, as well as floral and natural scenes, in which he depicts his subjects with blocks of bright, flattened color.

According to the artnet Price Database, the auction record for his work is $690,000, for the 1967 painting Red Tulips, followed by $666,000 for Blue Umbrella #2 from 1972. Works similar in size to the stolen one have fetched upwards of $30,000 at auction.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Box Flower 1 is asked to contact the Munich police department at +49 089/2910-0.

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