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Oskar Kokoschka

Knight Errant (detail). 1915. Oil on canvas. The Guggenheim Museum, New York.

EXHIBITIONS (*INDICATES SOLO EXHIBITION)

The Woman Question

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

March 14, 2017 - June 30, 2017


The Woman Question

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

March 14, 2017 - June 30, 2017


Recent Acquisitions

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016


Recent Acquisitions

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016


Art Basel 2016

June 16, 2016 - June 19, 2016


ADAA Art Show 2016

March 1, 2016 - March 6, 2016


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015


Recent Acquisitions

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015


Art Basel 2015

June 17, 2015 - June 21, 2015


ADAA Art Show 2015

March 3, 2015 - March 8, 2015


Alternate Histories

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015


Alternate Histories

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014


Art Basel 2014

June 19, 2014 - June 22, 2014


Recent Acquisitions

July 9, 2013 - September 27, 2013


Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

July 9, 2013 - September 27, 2013


Art Basel 2013

Galerie St. Etienne, Hall 2.0, Booth D11

June 13, 2013 - June 16, 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


Transforming Reality

Pattern and Design in Modern and Self-Taught Art

January 15, 2008 - March 8, 2008


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 5, 2007 - September 28, 2007


Who Paid the Piper?

The Art of Patronage in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

March 8, 2007 - May 26, 2007


Fairy Tale, Myth and Fantasy

Approaches to Spirituality in Art

December 7, 2006 - February 3, 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


* Coming of Age

Egon Schiele and the Modernist Culture of Youth

November 15, 2005 - January 7, 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


65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part I

Austrian and German Expressionism

October 28, 2004 - January 8, 2005


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 24, 2003 - September 12, 2003


In Search of the "Total Artwork"

Viennese Art and Design 1897–1932

April 8, 2003 - June 14, 2003


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 25, 2002 - September 20, 2002


Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoscha

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

November 23, 2001 - January 5, 2002


The "Black-and-White" Show

Expressionist Graphics in Austria & Germany

September 20, 2001 - November 10, 2001


Art with an Agenda

Politics, Persuasion, Illustration and Decoration

April 10, 2001 - June 16, 2001


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


Saved From Europe

In Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 6, 1999 - January 8, 2000


Recent Acquisitions

(And a Look at Sixty Years of Art Dealing)

June 15, 1999 - September 3, 1999


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


Sacred & Profane

Michel Nedjar and Expressionist Primitivism

January 13, 1998 - March 14, 1998


Recent Acquisitions

A Question of Quality

June 10, 1997 - September 5, 1997


That Way Madness Lies

Expressionism and the Art of Gugging

January 14, 1997 - March 15, 1997


The Viennese Line

Art and Design Circa 1900

November 18, 1996 - January 4, 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


Recent Acquisitions

June 20, 1995 - September 8, 1995


55th Anniversary Exhibition in Memory of Otto Kallir

June 7, 1994 - September 2, 1994


Symbolism and the Austrian Avant Garde

Klimt, Schiele and their Contemporaries

November 16, 1993 - January 8, 1994


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


Richard Gerstl/Oskar Kokoschka

March 17, 1992 - May 9, 1992


Viennese Graphic Design

From Secession to Expressionism

November 19, 1991 - January 11, 1992


The Expressionist Figure

September 10, 1991 - November 9, 1991


Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, drawings and prints

January 22, 1991 - March 2, 1991


Recent Acquisitions

June 12, 1990 - August 31, 1990


The Narrative in Art

January 23, 1990 - March 17, 1990


Galerie St. Etienne

A History in Documents and Pictures

June 20, 1989 - September 8, 1989


Fifty Years Galerie St. Etienne: An Overview

February 14, 1989 - April 1, 1989


From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

April 12, 1988 - May 27, 1988


Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

April 7, 1987 - October 31, 1987


Oskar Kokoschka and His Time

November 25, 1986 - January 31, 1987


Viennese Design and Wiener Werkstätte

September 23, 1986 - November 8, 1986


Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, Drawings and Prints

May 27, 1986 - September 13, 1986


Expressionist Painters

March 25, 1986 - May 10, 1986


The Art of Giving

December 3, 1985 - January 18, 1986


Expressionists on Paper

October 8, 1985 - November 23, 1985


European and American Landscapes

June 4, 1985 - September 13, 1985


Expressionist Printmaking

Aspects of its Genesis and Development

April 1, 1985 - May 24, 1985


Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna

November 13, 1984 - January 5, 1985


Early and Late

Drawings, Paintings & Prints from Academicism to Expressionism

June 1, 1983 - September 2, 1983


Aspects of Modernism

June 1, 1982 - September 3, 1982


The Human Perspective

Recent Acquisitions

March 16, 1982 - May 15, 1982


Austria's Expressionism

April 21, 1981 - May 30, 1981


The Wiener Werkstätte

November 16, 1966


25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

October 17, 1964


Austrian Expressionists

January 6, 1964


Group Show

October 15, 1962


Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin

March 14, 1961


Watercolors and Drawings by Austrian Artists from the Dial Collection

May 2, 1960


European and American Expressionists

September 22, 1959


* Oskar Kokoschka

October 28, 1958


* Oskar Kokoschka

November 29, 1954


Lovis Corinth, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

May 27, 1953


* Oskar Kokoschka

March 30, 1949


Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

September 15, 1945


* Oskar Kokoschka

Aspects of His Art

March 31, 1943


* Oskar Kokoschka

January 9, 1940


* Oskar Kokoschka

March 1, 1939


Austrian Art

February 1, 1939


Important Paintings

November 29, 1937


Modern Austrian Art

June 13, 1936


Anton Faistauer, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

June 1, 1933


* Oskar Kokoschka

October 22, 1932


* Oskar Kokoschka Part II

October 13, 1924


* Oskar Kokoschka Part I

June 24, 1924


THE EXPRESSIONIST FIGURE

September 10, 1991 - November 9, 1991

ARTISTS

Barlach, Ernst

Beckmann, Max

Corinth, Lovis

Dix, Otto

Grosz, George

Heckel, Erich

Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kollwitz, Käthe

Nolde, Emil

Pechstein, Hermann Max

Rohlfs, Christian

Schiele, Egon

 

ESSAY

All exhibitions are, by definition, collections of works of art, and most, by implication, are also subliminally about collecting. The present exhibition (the highlights of which are drawn from a single source) is both an anatomy of a collection, and an examination of a central aspect of Expressionism. These two themes are, in fact, inextricably linked, for true collecting is not the mindless accumulation of trophies, but rather requires a commitment of time, passion and a profound understanding of the art in question.

 

Scholars may argue over the proper definition of Expressionism, but most would agree that the figure is central to the evaluation of the genre, and therefore to any meaningful collection of it. Landscape and still life, by comparison, are less directly evocative of the human condition and therefore generally must rely on analogy to convey their expressive content. It is in their figural works that the Expressionists achieved their most revolutionary and emotionally powerful statements, and that the movement as a whole is quintessentially encapsulated.

 

Forming a foundation for figurative Expressionism was a narrative tradition based in academic history and genre painting. This tradition acquired new immediacy and heightened contemporaneity in the hands of Expressionist precursors like Ernst Barlach, Lovis Corinth and Käthe Kollwitz. Whether the narrative was specifically historical (as in Kollwitz's moving studies of rebellious peasants), literary (as in Barlach's picture stories Der Armer Vetter, Der Findlin and Walpurgisnach) or allegorical (as in the Dance of Death, a medieval subject that fascinated Corinth and others of his era), the works were distinguished by an ever increasing tendency to focus on the figure (rather than the setting or scenario) as the primary bearer of content. This drive to concentrate meaning in an emblematic individual gave the portraits of such artists as Corinth special significance in paving the way for Expressionism proper. As the subject's personality began to assume more importance than his or her specific identity, the figure became a surrogate for a broad range of human emotions and experiences. Generic "Everyman" or "Everywoman"characters predominate in the narratives of the full-fledged Expressionists Max Beckmann, Erich Heckel, Lyonel Feininger and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, all of whom found expanded meaning in simple scenes from daily life.

 

Nevertheless, it can be argued that in the purest Expressionist works the figure appears unencumbered by the trappings of narrative or mundane context. From this perspective, Egon Schiele--though living outside the central German orbit--might qualify as the ultimate Expressionist, for few artists have explored as intensely as he the expressive capabilities of the human body. In terms of subject matter and perfection of execution, Nude with Red Garters is the prototypical Schiele, a riveting personification of adolescent sexuality and insecurity. It was Schiele's willingness to confront the emotional core of his subjects, as well as his models' exquisitely distorted poses (which reach something of a high point in Woman With Raised Skirt), that enabled his work to transcend the conventions of the academic nude.

 

Self-portraits occupy a special place in the Expressionist canon, for here introspection merges with the more objective projection of an emblematic persona. In this regard, Schiele's Dark Suit, Hat with Wide Band (one of a handful of similar studies presumably done for the Wiener Werkstätte) merits particular attention, for it is both a probing self-portrait and an iconic fashion plate. This dualism--the ability to be both object and subject--is a key to Schiele's self-portraits, as is his chameleon-like role-playing and his dandified self-image (he designed much of his own clothing). While Expressionist self-portraits offer an unrivalled glimpse into the inner workings of the artist's mind, they are also inevitably tinged with an element of artifice.

 

The exploration of self is so central to Expressionism that occasionally the boundaries between self-portraiture and portraiture blur, and more than one Expressionist has been accused of confusing his sitter's physiognomy with his own. This is, of course, a particular temptation when the subject is of the same sex as the artist, and more easily avoided when the sitter is of the opposite sex. The female portrait, requiring greater effort and empathy, posed something of a challenge to male Expressionists, and Schiele, for one, created his most sensitive portraits of women only after marriage had permitted him to develop deeper insight into the feminine psyche. Oskar Kokoschka, early in his career, employed an abrasive style that many women found alienating, and his increasing turn to female portraiture after World War I was as much a result of changing attitudes toward women (who no longer had to be portrayed as decorative baubles, in the manner of Gustav Klimt) as of the artist's more fluid and sympathetic technique. Otto Dix, a scathing social critic whose career reached its height in the period between the two world wars, felt no obligation to spare women from the probing thrust of his brush. His stunning depiction of a procuress is at once a minutely accurate portrayal of a particular personality and a symbolic indictment of Weimar Republic sexual mores.

 

Ultimately, it is the Expressionists' ability to move effortlessly from the personal to the general, the specific to the universal, that gives their figural works such commanding presence. These are not and have never been easy pieces, and because Expressionism has thus been largely immune to momentary fads and the lure of quick financial gain, the field has remained relatively stable, even in the current environment. Now that the speculative energy which fueled the art market in the late 1980s appears finally to have evaporated, it is both appropriate and necessary to concentrate on the fundamentals of collecting. Ultimately, it is these fundamentals that have always sustained--and will continue to sustain--the art market.