These were his somewhat surrealist depictions of all types of machines and mechanisms, from bicycle-bells to typewriters and in this case motorbikes.
Ketterer in Munich is fortunate to be offering several works by the artist, all of which have been in the same German collection for several decades and are coming under the hammer on December 8.
Among them is the largest oil painting by the artist ever to come on the auction market. It is his 6ft 8in x 10ft 2in (2.03 x 3.1m) canvas titled Die Jagd nach dem Glück (Chasing Fortune) and dated (19)84.
When a group of students visited Klapheck in his studio and saw this monumental canvas, which now has a guide of €400,000, many remarked that the Sprint motorcycle (a fictitious make, invented by the artist) could never function, as the individual parts were not connected properly.
Klapheck patiently explained to them that it was a painting and not a motorbike, “just like the famous Ceci n’est pas une pipe by Magritte”. This is typical of his ironic distance to his subject matter.
A bonus in the Munich sale is the fact that the identically sized preliminary charcoal drawing on canvas is also on offer: it is valued at €200,000. Two further paintings by Klapheck are also being sold along with their preliminary drawings.