Jeannette Weiss, head of research at Gmuryznska, is very happy to present the delicate Klippel works. The two collage on paper works from 1989 are priced at US$18,000 and US$12,000 respectively. 'Quartz Hill, 1988' made of 18 carat gold is offered for US$95,000, while 'Plastic Toy Kit Construction, 1967' comes with the heady price tag of US$120,000.
Klippel is in good company at Gmurzynska: he is shown along sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz, Tom Wesselmann, Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein, as well as flat art by Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Robert Indiana.
A further boon for Klippel's international recognition is undoubtedly the simultaneous show of ten scultpures at 'Art in the Park', a yearly sculpture exhbition at luxury Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, a mere five minutes' walk from Gmurzynska gallery.
However, Klippel's work does have some solid secondary market pricing back home.
Christie's achieved his highest recorded price at auction in March 2006 for 'Opus 361 (18 miniature constructions)' from the W.R. Burge collection which sold for $507,000 incl. buyer's premium.
2006 was the high point of sales for Klippel with a number of exceptional works selling for sterling prices, also mostly from the Burge collection which included an unprecedented 26 sculptures and 5 collage works on paper.
2013 has been so far somewhat uninspiring for the artist's prices at auction. The top price so far was set by Deutscher + Hackett in April, when 'Wood Assemblage no. 1178, c.1983', 127 x 27 x 17 cm, achieved $10,800 incl. bp. Two other sales were recorded for bronze sculptures at $7,320 and $4,880 incl. bp.
One thing is for sure: Australian commercial galleries cannot possibly secure these kind of premium prices for Robert Klippel, but clearly the Swiss-based gallery feels he is worth it. Were Klippel to gain a serious foothold with international collectors, we would see his Australian auction prices rise rather steeply.