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George Grosz

Berlin Street. Circa 1926. Watercolor and ink on paper. Private collection.

EXHIBITIONS (*INDICATES SOLO EXHIBITION)

You Say You Want a Revolution

American Artists and the Communist Party

October 18, 2016 - March 4, 2017


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014


Modern Furies

The Lessons and Legacy of World War I

January 21, 2014 - April 12, 2014


Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

July 9, 2013 - September 27, 2013


Face Time

Self and Identity in Expressionist Portraiture

April 9, 2013 - June 28, 2013


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 17, 2012 - October 13, 2012


The Lady and the Tramp

Images of Women in Austrian and German Art

October 11, 2011 - December 30, 2011


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 5, 2011 - September 30, 2011


Decadence & Decay

Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz

April 12, 2011 - June 24, 2011


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 13, 2010 - October 1, 2010


From Brücke To Bauhaus

The Meanings of Modernity in Germany, 1905-1933

March 31, 2009 - June 26, 2009


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2008 - September 26, 2008


Hope or Menace?

Communism in Germany Between the World Wars

March 25, 2008 - June 13, 2008


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 5, 2007 - September 28, 2007


More Than Coffee was Served

Café Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna and Weimar Germany

September 19, 2006 - November 25, 2006


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 6, 2006 - September 8, 2006


Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

June 7, 2005 - September 9, 2005


Every Picture Tells a Story

The Narrative Impulse in Modern and Contemporary Art

April 5, 2005 - May 27, 2005


Sue Coe: Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round and Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 8, 2004 - October 16, 2004


Body and Soul

Expressionism and the Human Figure

October 7, 2003 - January 3, 2004


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 25, 2002 - September 20, 2002


Workers of the World

Modern Images of Labor

April 2, 2002 - June 15, 2002


Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 26, 2001 - September 7, 2001


Art with an Agenda

Politics, Persuasion, Illustration and Decoration

April 10, 2001 - June 16, 2001


The Tragedy of War

November 16, 2000 - January 6, 2001


The Expressionist City

September 19, 2000 - November 4, 2000


Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 20, 2000 - September 8, 2000


From Façade to Psyche

Turn-of-the-Century Portraiture in Austria & Germany

March 28, 2000 - June 10, 2000


The Modern Child

(Images of Children in Twentieth-Century Art)

September 14, 1999 - November 6, 1999


Recent Acquisitions

(And a Look at Sixty Years of Art Dealing)

June 15, 1999 - September 3, 1999


George Grosz - Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler

Art & Gender in Weimar Germany

September 23, 1998 - November 11, 1998


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts About Looted Art)

June 9, 1998 - September 11, 1998


Taboo

Repression and Revolt in Modern Art

March 26, 1998 - May 30, 1998


The New Objectivity

Realism in Weimar-Era Germany

September 16, 1997 - November 8, 1997


Recent Acquisitions

A Question of Quality

June 10, 1997 - September 5, 1997


Breaking All The Rules

Art in Transition

June 11, 1996 - September 6, 1996


The Fractured Form

Expressionism and the Human Body

November 15, 1995 - January 6, 1996


From Left to Right

Social Realism in Germany and Russia, Circa 1919-1933

September 19, 1995 - November 4, 1995


On the Brink 1900-2000

The Turning of Two Centuries

March 28, 1995 - May 26, 1995


Art and Politics in Weimar Germany

September 14, 1993 - November 6, 1993


Recent Acquisitions

June 8, 1993 - September 3, 1993


The Dance of Death

Images of Mortality in German Art

January 19, 1993 - March 13, 1993


Naive Visions/Art Nouveau and Expressionism/Sue Coe: The Road to the White House

May 19, 1992 - September 4, 1992


Scandal, Outrage, Censorship

Controversy in Modern Art

January 21, 1992 - March 7, 1992


The Expressionist Figure

September 10, 1991 - November 9, 1991


Recent Acquisitions

June 12, 1990 - August 31, 1990


The Narrative in Art

January 23, 1990 - March 17, 1990


Expressionist Painters

March 25, 1986 - May 10, 1986


Expressionists on Paper

October 8, 1985 - November 23, 1985


Expressionist Printmaking

Aspects of its Genesis and Development

April 1, 1985 - May 24, 1985


RECENT ACQUISITIONS

June 8, 1993 - September 3, 1993

ARTISTS

Barlach, Ernst

Bombois, Camille

Coe, Sue

Corinth, Lovis

Grosz, George

Kane, John

Klimt, Gustav

Klinger, Max

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kollwitz, Käthe

Kubin, Alfred

Lagru, Dominique

Moses, Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma")

Nedjar, Michel

Nolde, Emil

Schiele, Egon

Schilling, Erich von

Schröder-Sonnenstern, F.

Sekulic, Sava

Spiegelman, Art

Wilson, Scottie

Wittlich, Josef

 

ESSAY

The Galerie St. Etienne traditionally devotes the summer months to displaying its recent acquisitions, but the exhibition title is to some extent misleading, as these surveys represent more than a mere compilation of the latest additions to our inventory. The summer show provides an opportunity to take stock of the season just past and to present an overview of the works by those artists who are central to the gallery’s vision. Then, too, while scholarly themes dominate the exhibition schedule from autumn through spring, the Recent Acquisitions show, by virtue of its anthologizing nature, reflects more directly on the current state of the art market.

 

Three summers ago, as the buying frenzy of the late 1980s was reaching its apogee, our checklist essay cautioned against the commodification of art. Today, this trend has almost completely reversed itself. With the speculators largely driven from the field and prices at sensible levels, the atmosphere is far more hospitable to the true collector. In keeping with the heightened accessibility of the present art scene, the Galerie St. Etienne’s 1992-93 exhibition schedule was particularly eclectic, with offerings ranging from Art Spiegelman’s drawings for his Pulitzer-Prize-winning comic book, Maus, to an historical overview of The Dance of Death that included works from Albrecht Dürer to Otto Dix. A season that began in September with a Käthe Kollwitz retrospective, ended several weeks ago with a survey of “Outsider” art. Today, more than ever before, the academic distinctions between “high” and “low” art no longer apply; quality transcends such artificial boundaries.

 

The present exhibition recaps the highlights of the last ten months, while simultaneously foreshadowing major events of 1993-94. In the subsection devoted to Austrian and German art are works by Ernst Barlach, Lovis Corinth, George Grosz, Gustav Klimt, Max Klinger, Käthe Kollwitz, Alfred Kubin, Emil Nolde and Egon Schiele (who will be the subject next year of a major traveling museum exhibition, curated by our gallery). Among the nonacademic artists are not only longtime St. Etienne favorites John Kane and Grandma Moses, but also a number of important European artists, such as Camille Bombois, Dominique Lagru, Michel Nedjar, Sava Sekulic, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Scottie Wilson and Josef Wittlich. Also represented are our two contemporary artists, Sue Coe (whose latest work will be featured at the gallery this fall) and Art Spiegelman (represented not only by a selection of Maus drawings, but also by several of his much talked about recent pieces for The New Yorker).

 

Diverse though the above artists may seem, they do share a common ground. The art of both Käthe Kollwitz and of Sue Coe is a call to arms, a protest against appalling social conditions. Many people are surprised to learn that Kolliwtz (who was effectively banned from working by the Nazis) never depicted the Holocaust, so poignantly does some of her work evoke Hitler’s “final solution.” Art Spiegelman, the son of Auschwitz survivors, has attempted to grapple more overtly with the horrifying reality of Nazi Germany and also with the endemic racism and divisive moral choices that still plague modern society. A gentler and more elegant sensibility is conveyed by the Austrians Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin and Egon Schiele, yet they were equally interested in troubling psychological and personal issues. As has frequently been noted, the Galerie St. Etienne’s artists are united by their concern with the human condition.

 

Beyond this, however, the Galerie St. Etienne has always first and foremost been guided by considerations on quality, rather than by accepted orthodoxies. We resolutely championed Austrian and German art at a time when the French view of modernism reigned supreme, and women artists long before they became politically fashionable. Maus may be the first comic book to gain widespread respectability, but St. Etienne has long believed in the legitimacy of popular artforms. It was, after all, the pioneer modernists who originally challenged the high/low dichotomy with their acceptance of nonacademic art, and the Galerie St. Etienne’s advocacy of such artists as Grandma Moses is a logical manifestation of this underlying principle. The present moment is one in which many traditional artistic prejudices are being demolished, and previously ignored or despised aesthetic phenomena are coming in for renewed attention. Some conservative critics have seen in these developments an attack on quality, but nothing could be further from the truth. Only when we abandon our arbitrarily determined preconceptions can genuine quality in art be recognized.