Alfred Kubin

The Great-Grandmother. 1926. Ink and watercolor. The Museum of Modern Art.


Alternate Histories

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015

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)

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

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

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 25, 2002 - September 20, 2002

The "Black-and-White" Show

Expressionist Graphics in Austria & Germany

September 20, 2001 - November 10, 2001

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 Expressionist City

September 19, 2000 - November 4, 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

Sacred & Profane

Michel Nedjar and Expressionist Primitivism

January 13, 1998 - March 14, 1998

That Way Madness Lies

Expressionism and the Art of Gugging

January 14, 1997 - March 15, 1997

On the Brink 1900-2000

The Turning of Two Centuries

March 28, 1995 - May 26, 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

Max Klinger, Käthe Kollwitz, Alfred Kubin

A Study in Influences

March 27, 1990 - June 2, 1990

The Narrative in Art

January 23, 1990 - March 17, 1990

The 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

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

June 14, 1988 - September 16, 1988

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

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

Early and Late

Drawings, Paintings & Prints from Academicism to Expressionism

June 1, 1983 - September 2, 1983

* Alfred Kubin

Visions From The Other Side

March 22, 1983 - May 7, 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

* Alfred Kubin

January 30, 1968

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

* Alfred Kubin

April 3, 1957

Small, Good Art Works from the 19th and 20th Centuries

January 27, 1949

* Alfred Kubin

Master of Drawing

December 4, 1941

Modern Austrian Art

June 13, 1936

* Alfred Kubin

April 22, 1931

* Alfred Kubin

January 20, 1925

* Alfred Kubin

April 1, 1924


April 12, 1988 - May 27, 1988


Czeschka, Carl Otto

Hoffmann, Josef

Klimt, Gustav

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kubin, Alfred

Löffler, Berthold

Moser, Kolomon

Peche, Dagobert

Schiele, Egon

Wiener Werkstätte



In Austria, as in Germany, the principal popular art style at the turn of the century was the Jugendstil (named after a Munich periodical), an offshoot of the international Art Nouveau movement. In both countries, this style was the pabulum that fed the infant Expressionist generation, many of whose members began by doing stylized, decorative work with a clear Jugendstil flavor. Austria and Germany differed, however, in the degree of mingling that occurred between the fine and the applied arts. The Vienna Secession (unlike its counterparts in Munich, Berlin and Dresden), from its start in 1897, gave almost undue emphasis to the applied arts. As the nineteenth century waned, it became apparent that the strongest painters within the Secession's ranks were those who, like Gustav Klimt, cast their lot with the architectural faction led by Josef Hoffmann. The decorative arts revival spearheaded by Hoffmann and the designer Koloman Moser--which took concrete organizational form when the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) was founded in 1903--represented not only the dominant wing of the avant-garde but, for artists growing up in the early twentieth century, a significant source of economic and moral support.


Thus it happened that, whereas in Germany the Expressionists continued a painterly tradition that can be traced all the way back to the Romantic movement of the early nineteenth century, in Austria the foremost precedent was that of the Wiener Werkstätte and its associates. While certain aspects of Expressionism--particularly those that are shocking or disturbing--may seem to be the direct antithesis of the safe, pretty world promoted by the Werkstätte, the expressive exaggeration and linear precision practiced by both Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka evolved directly from turn-of-the-century poster design, with its emphasis on graphic stylization and negative space. Gustav Klimt, the most important painter among the Secession's founders, was, like his disciple Schiele, a demon draughtsman, and his limpid, fluid drawings revealed a potential for emotional spontaneity that was of prime significance to the Expressionists. The surface dazzle of Klimt's seemingly innocuous "gold" paintings does not entirely conceal the artist's morbid and libidinous impulses, which were to be dragged into the open by the next generation. By stripping away the decorative fill that defined Klimt's approach, Schiele and Kokoschka exposed the glaring void that was always implicit in the master's horror vacui.


The current exhibition traces the development of the Austrian avant-garde from the initial days of the Secession through the interwar period. The work of major applied arts innovators such as Hoffmann, Moser, Carl Otto Czeschka and Berthold Löffler is presented in tandem with that of Austria's principal fine artists, Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin. By devoting roughly equal emphasis to these two areas, an attempt has been made to stress interrelationships that might not normally be apparent. Just as the Wiener Werkstätte influenced the growth of Expressionism, so too were Expressionistic tendencies evident in the Werkstätte's later development, a phenomenon that is particularly noticeable when (as in the fashion designs of Fritzi Löw, Maria Likarz and Eduard Joseph Wimmer-Wisgrill) the focus is on the human figure. The free interchange that existed in Austria between the fine and the applied arts thus fortified both branches, lending intellectual rigor to the pioneering inventions of Hoffmann and Moser, and ceding to the younger Expressionists a characteristic lightness of touch that distinguishes their work from that of their German contemporaries.