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Past Exhibitions

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 11, 2017 - October 13, 2017


The Woman Question

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

March 14, 2017 - June 30, 2017


You Say You Want a Revolution

American Artists and the Communist Party

October 18, 2016 - March 4, 2017


Recent Acquisitions

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Featuring Watercolors and Drawings from the Robert Lehman Collection

March 29, 2016 - July 1, 2016


Paula Modersohn-Becker

Art and Life

November 3, 2015 - March 19, 2016


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015


Leonard Baskin

Wunderkammer

April 23, 2015 - July 2, 2015


Alternate Histories

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015


Marie-Louise Motesiczky

The Mother Paintings

October 7, 2014 - December 24, 2014


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014


Ilija/Mangelos

Father & Son, Inside & Out

April 24, 2014 - July 3, 2014


Modern Furies

The Lessons and Legacy of World War I

January 21, 2014 - April 12, 2014


Käthe Kollwitz

The Complete Print Cycles

October 8, 2013 - December 28, 2013


Käthe Kollwitz

The Complete Print Cycles

October 8, 2013 - December 28, 2013


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


Story Lines

Tracing the Narrative of "Outsider" Art

January 15, 2013 - March 30, 2013


Egon Schiele's Women

October 23, 2012 - December 28, 2012


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 17, 2012 - October 13, 2012


Mad As Hell!

New Work (and Some Classics) by Sue Coe

April 17, 2012 - July 3, 2012


The Ins and Outs of Self-Taught Art

Reflections on a Shifting Field

January 10, 2012 - April 7, 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


Self-Taught Painters in American 1800-1950

Revisiting the Tradition

January 11, 2011 - April 2, 2011


Marie-Louise Motesiczky

Paradise Lost & Found

October 12, 2010 - December 30, 2010


Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 13, 2010 - October 1, 2010


Käthe Kollwitz

A Portrait of the Artist

April 13, 2010 - June 25, 2010


Seventy Years Grandma Moses

A Loan Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Artist's "Discovery"

February 3, 2010 - April 3, 2010


Egon Schiele as Printmaker

A Loan Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 3, 2009 - January 23, 2010


From Brücke To Bauhaus

The Meanings of Modernity in Germany, 1905-1933

March 31, 2009 - June 26, 2009


They Taught Themselves

American Self-Taught Painters Between the World Wars

January 9, 2009 - March 14, 2009


Elephants We Must Never Forget

New Paintings Drawings and Prints by Sue Coe

October 14, 2008 - December 20, 2008


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


Transforming Reality

Pattern and Design in Modern and Self-Taught Art

January 15, 2008 - March 8, 2008


Leonard Baskin

Proofs and Process

October 9, 2007 - January 5, 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


Parallel Visions II

"Outsider" and "Insider" Art Today

April 5, 2006 - May 26, 2006


Ilija!

His First American Exhibtion

January 17, 2006 - March 18, 2006


Coming of Age

Egon Schiele and the Modernist Culture of Youth

November 15, 2005 - January 7, 2006


Sue Coe:

Sheep of Fools

September 20, 2005 - November 5, 2005


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 II

Self-Taught Artists

January 18, 2005 - March 26, 2005


65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part I

Austrian and German Expressionism

October 28, 2004 - January 8, 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


Animals & Us

The Animal in Contemporary Art

April 1, 2004 - May 22, 2004


Henry Darger

Art and Myth

January 15, 2004 - March 20, 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 24, 2003 - September 12, 2003


In Search of the "Total Artwork"

Viennese Art and Design 1897–1932

April 8, 2003 - June 14, 2003


Russia's Self-Taught Artists

A New Perspective on the "Outsider"

January 14, 2003 - March 29, 2003


Käthe Kollwitz:

Master Printmaker

October 1, 2002 - January 4, 2003


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


Grandma Moses

Reflections of America

January 15, 2002 - March 16, 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


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


"Our Beautiful and Tormented Austria!": Art Brut in the Land of Freud

January 18, 2001 - March 17, 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


European Self-Taught Art

Brut or Naive?

January 18, 2000 - March 11, 2000


Saved From Europe

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

November 6, 1999 - January 8, 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


Sue Coe: The Pit

The Tragical Tale of the Rise and Fall of a Vivisector

March 30, 1999 - June 5, 1999


Henry Darger and His Realms

January 14, 1999 - March 13, 1999


Becoming Käthe Kollwitz

An Artist and Her Influences

November 17, 1998 - December 31, 1998


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


Sacred & Profane

Michel Nedjar and Expressionist Primitivism

January 13, 1998 - March 14, 1998


Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

Master Draughtsman

November 18, 1997 - January 3, 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


Käthe Kollwitz - Lea Grundig

Two German Women & The Art of Protest

March 25, 1997 - May 31, 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


Emil Nolde - Christian Rohlfs

Two German Expressionist Masters

September 24, 1996 - November 9, 1996


Breaking All The Rules

Art in Transition

June 11, 1996 - September 6, 1996


Sue Coe's Ship of Fools

March 26, 1996 - May 24, 1996


New York Folk

Lawrence Lebduska, Abraham Levin, Isreal Litwak

January 16, 1996 - March 16, 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


Recent Acquisitions

June 20, 1995 - September 8, 1995


On the Brink 1900-2000

The Turning of Two Centuries

March 28, 1995 - May 26, 1995


Earl Cummingham - Grandma Moses

Visions of America

January 17, 1995 - March 18, 1995


Drawn to Text: Comix Artists as Book Illustrators

November 15, 1994 - January 7, 1995


Three Berlin Artists of the Weimar Era: Hannah Höch, Käthe Kollwitz, Jeanne Mam

September 13, 1994 - November 5, 1994


55th Anniversary Exhibition in Memory of Otto Kallir

June 7, 1994 - September 2, 1994


Sue Coe: We All Fall Down

March 29, 1994 - May 27, 1994


The Forgotten Folk Art of the 1940's

January 18, 1994 - March 19, 1994


Symbolism and the Austrian Avant Garde

Klimt, Schiele and their Contemporaries

November 16, 1993 - January 8, 1994


Art and Politics in Weimar Germany

September 14, 1993 - November 6, 1993


Recent Acquisitions

June 8, 1993 - September 3, 1993


The "Outsider" Question

Non-Academic Art from 1900 to the Present

March 23, 1993 - May 28, 1993


The Dance of Death

Images of Mortality in German Art

January 19, 1993 - March 13, 1993


Art Spiegelman

The Road to Maus

November 17, 1992 - January 9, 1993


Käthe Kollwitz

In Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth

September 15, 1992 - November 7, 1992


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


Scandal, Outrage, Censorship

Controversy in Modern Art

January 21, 1992 - March 7, 1992


Viennese Graphic Design

From Secession to Expressionism

November 19, 1991 - January 11, 1992


The Expressionist Figure

September 10, 1991 - November 9, 1991


Recent Acquisitions

Themes and Variations

May 14, 1991 - August 16, 1991


Sue Coe Retrospective

Political Document of a Decade

March 12, 1991 - May 5, 1991


Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, drawings and prints

January 22, 1991 - March 2, 1991


Egon Schiele

November 13, 1990 - January 12, 1991


Lovis Corinth

A Retrospective

September 11, 1990 - November 3, 1990


Recent Acquisitions

June 12, 1990 - August 31, 1990


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


Grandma Moses

November 14, 1989 - January 13, 1990


Sue Coe

Porkopolis--Animals and Industry

September 19, 1989 - November 4, 1989


The Galerie St. Etienne

A History in Documents and Pictures

June 20, 1989 - September 8, 1989


Gustav Klimt

Paintings and Drawings

April 11, 1989 - June 10, 1989


Fifty Years Galerie St. Etienne: An Overview

February 14, 1989 - April 1, 1989


Folk Artists at Work

Morris Hirshfield, John Kane and Grandma Moses

November 15, 1988 - January 14, 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


Three Pre-Expressionists

Lovis Corinth Käthe Kollwitz Paula Modersohn-Becker

January 26, 1988 - March 12, 1988


Käthe Kollwitz

The Power of the Print

November 17, 1987 - January 16, 1988


Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

April 7, 1987 - October 31, 1987


Folk Art of This Century

February 10, 1987 - March 28, 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


Käthe Kollwitz/Paula Modersohn-Becker

January 28, 1986 - March 15, 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


Expressionist Masters

January 18, 1985 - March 23, 1985


Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna

November 13, 1984 - January 5, 1985


Grandma Moses and Selected Folk Paintings

September 25, 1984 - November 3, 1984


American Folk Art

People, Places and Things

June 12, 1984 - September 14, 1984


John Kane

Modern America's First Folk Painter

April 17, 1984 - May 25, 1984


Eugène Mihaesco

The Illustrator as Artist

February 28, 1984 - April 7, 1984


Early Expressionist Masters

January 17, 1984 - February 18, 1984


Paula Modersohn-Becker

Germany's Pioneer Modernist

November 15, 1983 - January 7, 1984


Gustav Klimt

Drawings and Selected Paintings

September 20, 1983 - November 5, 1983


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


20th Century Folk

The First Generation

January 18, 1983 - March 12, 1983


Grandma Moses

The Artist Behind the Myth

November 15, 1982 - January 8, 1983


Käthe Kollwitz

The Artist as Printmaker

September 28, 1982 - November 6, 1982


Aspects of Modernism

June 1, 1982 - September 3, 1982


The Human Perspective

Recent Acquisitions

March 16, 1982 - May 15, 1982


19th and 20th Century European and American Folk Art

January 19, 1982 - March 6, 1982


The Folk Art Tradition

Naïve Painting in Europe and the United States

November 17, 1981 - January 9, 1982


Austria's Expressionism

April 21, 1981 - May 30, 1981


Eugène Mihaesco

His First American One-Man Show

March 3, 1981 - April 11, 1981


Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele

November 12, 1980 - December 27, 1980


Summer Exhibition

June 17, 1980 - October 31, 1980


Kollwitz: The Drawing and The Print

May 1, 1980 - June 10, 1980


40th Anniversary Exhibition

November 13, 1979 - December 28, 1979


American Primitive Art

November 22, 1977


Käthe Kollwitz

December 1, 1976


Neue Galerie-Galerie St. Etienne

A Documentary Exhibition

May 1, 1976


Martin Pajeck

January 27, 1976


Georges Rouault and Frans Masereel

April 29, 1972


Branko Paradis

December 1, 1971


Käthe Kollwitz

February 3, 1971


Egon Schiele

The Graphic Work

October 19, 1970


Gustav Klimt

March 20, 1970


Friedrich Hundertwasser

May 6, 1969


Austrian Art of the 20th Century

March 21, 1969


Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

October 31, 1968


Yugoslav Primitive Art

April 30, 1968


Alfred Kubin

January 30, 1968


Käthe Kollwitz

In the Cause of Humanity

October 23, 1967


Abraham Levin

September 26, 1967


Karl Stark

April 5, 1967


Gustav Klimt

February 4, 1967


The Wiener Werkstätte

November 16, 1966


Oskar Laske

October 25, 1965


Käthe Kollwitz

May 1, 1965


Egon Schiele

Watercolors and Drawings from American Collections

March 1, 1965


25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part II

November 21, 1964


25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

October 17, 1964


Mary Urban

June 9, 1964


Werner Berg, Jane Muus and Mura Dehn

May 5, 1964


Eugen Spiro

April 4, 1964


B. F. Dolbin

Drawings of an Epoch

March 3, 1964


Austrian Expressionists

January 6, 1964


Joseph Rifesser

December 3, 1963


Panorama of Yugoslav Primitive Art

October 21, 1963


Joe Henry

Watercolors of Vermont

May 1, 1963


French Impressionists

March 8, 1963


Grandma Moses

Memorial Exhibition

November 26, 1962


Group Show

October 15, 1962


Ernst Barlach

March 23, 1962


Martin Pajeck

February 24, 1962


Paintings by Expressionists

January 27, 1962


Käthe Kollwitz

November 11, 1961


Grandma Moses

September 7, 1961


My Friends

Fourth Biennial of Pictures by American School Children

May 27, 1961


Raimonds Staprans

April 17, 1961


Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin

March 14, 1961


Marvin Meisels

January 23, 1961


Egon Schiele

November 15, 1960


My Life's History

Paintings by Grandma Moses

September 12, 1960


Watercolors and Drawings by Austrian Artists from the Dial Collection

May 2, 1960


Martin Pajeck

February 29, 1960


Eugen Spiro

February 6, 1960


Käthe Kollwitz

December 14, 1959


Josef Scharl

Last Paintings and Drawings

November 11, 1959


European and American Expressionists

September 22, 1959


Our Town

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

May 23, 1959


Marvin Meisels and Martin Pajeck

May 1, 1959


Gustav Klimt

April 1, 1959


Käthe Kollwitz

January 12, 1959


Oskar Kokoschka

October 28, 1958


Village Life in Guatemala

Paintings by Andres Curuchich

June 3, 1958


Two Unknown American Expressionists

Paintings by Marvin Meisels and Martin Pajeck

April 28, 1958


Paula Modersohn-Becker

March 15, 1958


The Great Tradition in American Painting

American Primitive Art

January 20, 1958


Jules Lefranc and Dominique Lagru

Two French Primitives

November 18, 1957


Margret Bilger

October 22, 1957


The Four Seasons

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

June 11, 1957


Grandma Moses

May 6, 1957


Alfred Kubin

April 3, 1957


Franz Lerch

March 2, 1957


Egon Schiele

January 21, 1957


Josef Scharl

Memorial Exhibition

November 17, 1956


Irma Rothstein

May 19, 1956


Käthe Kollwitz

April 16, 1956


A Tribute to Grandma Moses

November 28, 1955


As I See Myself

One Hundred Paintings by American School Children

May 20, 1955


Juan De'Prey

April 19, 1955


Erich Heckel

March 29, 1955


Freddy Homburger

March 2, 1955


Masters of the 19th Century

January 18, 1955


Oskar Kokoschka

November 29, 1954


Isabel Case Borgatta and Josef Scharl

October 12, 1954


James N. Rosenberg and Eugen Spiro

April 30, 1954


Per Krogh

April 2, 1954


Cuno Amiet

February 16, 1954


Eniar Jolin

January 14, 1954


Irma Rothstein

December 8, 1953


Josef Scharl

November 11, 1953


Grandma Moses

October 21, 1953 - October 24, 1953


Wilhelm Kaufmann

September 30, 1953


Lovis Corinth, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

May 27, 1953


A Grandma Moses Album

Recent Paintings, 1950-1953

April 15, 1953


Streeter Blair

American Primitive

February 26, 1953


Paintings on Glass

Austrian Religious Folk Art of the 17th to 19th Centuries

December 4, 1952


Hasan Kaptan

Paintings of a Ten-Year-Old Turkish Painter

October 29, 1952


Margret Bilger

May 10, 1952


American Natural Painters

March 31, 1952


Ten Years of New York Concert Impressions by Eugen Spiro; Four New Paintings by

January 26, 1952


I-Fa-Wei

Watercolors of New York by a Chinese Artist

December 1, 1951


Käthe Kollwitz

October 25, 1951


Drawings and Watercolors by Austrian Children

May 21, 1951


Grandma Moses

Twenty-Five Masterpieces of Primitive Art

March 17, 1951


Roswitha Bitterlich

January 18, 1951


Oskar Laske

Watercolors of Vienna and the Salzkammergut

October 14, 1950


Tenth Anniversary Exhibition

Part II

May 11, 1950


Austrian Art of the 19th Century

From Wadlmüller to Klimt

April 1, 1950


Chiao Ssu-Tu

February 18, 1950


Anton Faistauer

January 1, 1950


Tenth Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

November 30, 1949


Autograph Exhibition

October 26, 1949


Gladys Wertheim Bachrach

May 24, 1949


Oskar Kokoschka

March 30, 1949


Eugen Spiro

February 19, 1949


Frans Masereel

January 13, 1949


Ten Years Grandma Moses

November 22, 1948


Käthe Kollwitz

Masterworks

October 18, 1948


American Primitives

June 3, 1948


Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

April 5, 1948


Miriam Richman

February 7, 1948


Vally Wieselthier

Memorial Exhibition

January 10, 1948


Christmas Exhibition

December 4, 1947


Fritz von Unruh

November 10, 1947


Käthe Kollwitz

October 4, 1947


Grandma Moses

May 17, 1947


Lovis Corinth

April 16, 1947


Hugo Steiner-Prag

March 15, 1947


Mark Baum

January 11, 1947


Eugen Spiro

November 25, 1946


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

May 17, 1946


Ladis W. Sabo

Paintings by a New Primitive Artist

April 8, 1946


Georges Rouault

The Graphic Work

February 26, 1946


Käthe Kollwitz

Memorial Exhibition

November 21, 1945


Fred E. Robertson

Paintings by an American Primitive

June 13, 1945


Max Liebermann

The Graphic Work

April 18, 1945


Vienna through Four Centuries

March 1, 1945


Eugen Spiro

January 20, 1945


Grandma Moses

New Paintings

December 5, 1944


Käthe Kollwitz

Part II

October 26, 1944


A Century of French Graphic Art

From Géricault to Picasso

September 28, 1944


Max Liebermann

Memorial Exhibition

June 9, 1944


Juan De'Prey

Paintings by a Self-Taught Artist from Puerto Rico

May 6, 1944


Abraham Levin

April 15, 1944


Lesser Ury

Memorial Exhibition

March 21, 1944


Grandma Moses

Paintings by the Senior of the American Primitives

February 9, 1944


Betty Lane

January 11, 1944


WaIt Disney Cavalcade

December 9, 1943


Käthe Kollwitz

Part I

November 3, 1943


Will Barnet

September 29, 1943


Lovis Corinth

May 26, 1943


Josephine Joy

Paintings by an American Primitive

May 3, 1943


Oskar Kokoschka

Aspects of His Art

March 31, 1943


Eugen Spiro

February 13, 1943


Seymour Lipton

January 18, 1943


Illuminated Gothic Woodcuts

Printed and Painted, 1477-1493

December 5, 1942


Abraham Levin

November 4, 1942


Walt Disney Originals

September 23, 1942


Documents which Relate History

Documents of Historical Importance and Landmarks of Human Development

June 10, 1942


Honoré Daumier

April 29, 1942


Bertha Trabich

Memorial Exhibition of a Russian-American Primitive

March 25, 1942


Alfred Kubin

Master of Drawing

December 4, 1941


Egon Schiele

November 7, 1941


Betty Lane

June 3, 1941


Flowers from Old Vienna

18th and Early 19th Century Flower Painting

May 7, 1941


Weavings by Navaho and Hopi Indians and Photos of Indians by Helen M. Post

January 29, 1941


Georg Merkel

November 7, 1940


What a Farm Wife Painted

Works by Mrs. Anna Mary Moses

October 9, 1940


Saved from Europe

Masterpieces of European Art

July 1, 1940


American Abstract Art

May 22, 1940


Franz Lerch

May 1, 1940


Wilhelm Thöny

April 3, 1940


French Masters of the 19th and 20th Centuries

February 29, 1940


H. W. Hannau

Metropolis, Photographic Studies of New York

February 2, 1940


Oskar Kokoschka

January 9, 1940


Austrian Masters

November 13, 1939


ALTERNATE HISTORIES

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015

ARTISTS

Baskin, Leonard

Coe, Sue

Hirshfield, Morris

Kane, John

Klimt, Gustav

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kollwitz, Käthe

Kubin, Alfred

Moses, Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma")

Schiele, Egon

ESSAY

Art Spiegelman, an artist represented by the Galerie St. Etienne in the 1990s, subtitled his renowned Holocaust memoir, Maus, "My Father Bleeds History." This can probably be said of every Holocaust survivor. However, it might more accurately be said that Otto Kallir, founder of the Galerie St. Etienne, and before that Vienna's Neue Galerie, breathed history. Kallir was keenly aware that history surrounds us, and he had a sure instinct for discerning which of myriad daily experiences could likely prove to be of lasting significance. As a boy, he followed the Wright Brothers' experiments in distant North Carolina, convinced that aviation would one day revolutionize human travel. As a collector, again from a young age, he was fascinated by the physical traces of human achievement, be these in the form of aeronautica, musical manuscripts or historical documents. When Hitler came to power in neighboring Germany, Kallir had no illusions about the potential threat, and he made preliminary plans to emigrate already in 1935. He and his immediate family fled Austria in June 1938, scarcely three months after the Nazi Anschluss and just hours before the Gestapo intended to arrest him.

 

Kallir's eye for art was of a piece with his feeling for history. Equally appreciative of quality and context, he was absolutely steadfast in his judgments. In many cases, his choices were not at the time obvious. The Austrian modernists--Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin and Egon Schiele--were virtually unknown in the United States when the Galerie St. Etienne opened its doors here in 1939. Anna Mary Roberston ("Grandma") Moses was an obscure farmwoman when Kallir mounted her first exhibition in 1940, and her rise to fame after World War II flew in the face of the entire American art world. Overall, St. Etienne's program was decidedly at odds with the formalist dogma put forth by critics such as Clement Greenberg and his allies at the Museum of Modern Art. Figural, folk, humanistic--the Galerie St. Etienne's artists present dissenting views and suggest alternate histories that challenge the dominant narratives of twentieth-century art.

 

The advent of modernism in Europe at the turn of the last century upended the structure of the Western art world. Through responses varied from country to country, artist to artist, modernists shared an aversion to the existing art establishment: the academies and salons that controlled the market and, in the artists' view, perpetuated stultifying, moribund aesthetic traditions. The modernists were not necessarily political, but they possessed an inochoate belief that art might remake society, or at the very least, that the rampant social changes of the industrial age demanded a new art. Their art was unlike anything that had graced the walls of nineteenth-century salons. Difficult for the average viewer to comprehend and widely reviled by professional critics, modern art in its early days depended on the support of a small cadre of committed collectors, curators and dealers. Gallerists such as Ambrose Vollard and Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler in France, Paul Cassirer and Herwarth Walden in Germany and Otto Kallir in Austria were proselytizers for the new art. By painstakingly educating the public, they created not only a market for modern art, but also the modern art market.

 

The selling of modern art, both commerically and intellectually, accelerated significantly in the years between the two world wars. The genre's subordinate "isms"--Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Surrealism--became brands that could be used for promotional purposes, as well as explanatory categories wielded by art historians and curators. During the First World War, both sides had banned the enemy's culture, and as a result, many of the "isms" acquired nationalistic associations in the postwar period. "Expressionism," a term originally used by Lovis Corinth to distinguish the Fauves from the Impressionists, now became a specifically Germanic designation, albeit one artists themselves seldom embraced. In the United States, modernism was a foreign import with a decidedly French orientation. For Americans, wartime alliances enduringly ratified Paris's stature as the cener of the international art world.

 

Within this context, Austria was doubly cursed. Not only had that nation been on the losing side in World War I, it had sacrificed its identity to Germany as a result of the 1938 Anschluss. The Galerie St. Etienne's inaugural exhibition of nineteenth-century "Austrian Masters" in November 1939 was characterized as a "quaint display" by the New York Herald Tribune. Klimt and Schiele, introduced to the American public in a group exhibition several months later, were given scant chances of success. "It is difficult to awaken enthusiasm at this time for artists so little known and appreciated here and for many years passed from the contemporary scene in Europe," the Tribune opined. Among the triumvirate of great Austrian modernists, only Kokoschka was still alive, and because he had spent much of his career abroad, he was routinely grouped with the German Expressionists. Though Kokoschka's work was hardly popular (the New York Times called his colors "bilious"), the artist's higher profile yielded the Galerie St. Etienne some modest successes, most notably the sale, in 1940, of a major landscape oil to the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo.

 

German Expressionism, unlike its Austrian counterpart, did enjoy some recognition in the United States. In addition to the Albright's Director, Gordon Washburn, American advocates of Germanic art prior to World War II included Henry Rossiter at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Carl Schniewind at the Brooklyn Museum, Carl Zigrosser at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perry Rathbone at the St. Louis Museum and William Valentiner, Director of the Detroit Institute of Art. Valentiner was, among other things, an advisor to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the guiding force behind the Museum of Modern Art. MoMA's founding Director, Alfred Barr, had traveled widely in Europe, and in 1931 the museum mounted a groundbreaking exhibition of German Expressionism. Nevertheless, Barr noted disapprovingly in the catalogue that "German art is as a rule not pure art." Unlike French modernism it did not focus on "form and style as ends in themselves."

 

As MoMA's first Director, Barr wanted to contruct an intellectual framework that could be used to explain modernism and sell it to the general public. His efforts culminated in a highly influential chart, which was reproduced on the cover of the museum's 1936 catalogue, "Cubism and Abstract Art." With scant attention to the artists' individual contexts or avowed philosophical aims, Barr reduced the welter of multinational "isms" to their lowest common denominator. His chart plotted two essentially formal trajectories: the first leading from Cézanne to Cubism and thence to Constructivism, and the second leading from Gauguin through the Fauves to Expressionism and Surrealism. The first thread culminated in geometrical abstraction, the second in nongeometrical abstraction. That was it. Modernism came down to a choice between regular or irregular shapes the "square" or the "amoeba."

 

It is no coincidence that the interlocking "isms" on Barr's flowchart were almost exclusively European. Barr prized innovation, and Americans had not thus far been leaders in the international move towards abstraction. Believing that when it came to painting and sculpture, Americans remained inferior to the French, Barr placed special emphasis, in MoMA's programming and departmental structure, on photography, film, architecture and industrial design: areas in which the United States was widely agreed to excel. The view was resoundingly, and somewhat more harshly, affirmed by the French press in 1938, when MoMA sent a survey, "Three Centuries of American Art," to the Jeu de Paume. For Europeans, America was synonymous with Hollywood and skyscrapers. The United States was simply too youg, as a nation, to have developed the cultural traditions required to nurture meaningful fine art.

 

Europeans responded more favorably to America's folk arts and self-taught painters. Serious interest in such work had been initiated by modernists like Picasso and Kandinsky, who were inspired by the relative creative freedom of unschooled artists. This viewpoint became established in the United States when a Pittsburgh housepainter, John Kane, was admitted to the prestigious Carnegie International Exhibition in 1927. MoMA, founded two years later, quickly became a strong supporter of nonacademic American art. During the museum's first decade, Kane was included in no fewer than four roundups of contemporary trends, as well as a groundbreaking 1938 survey of self-taught artists, "Masters of Popular Painting." Barr at the time described the genre as one of the "major... movements of modern art," on a par with Cubism and Surrealism. In 1941, when MoMA opened its first gallery devoted to the permanent collection, the selection was limited to the work of untrained painters. Averring that these so-called "modern primitives" were more "international in character" than their trained American colleagues, Barr thought the new display was an ideal way to introduce the American public to the museum's tenets. This was modernism lite.

 

Like Barr and other partisans of the European avant-garde, Kallir did not initially find the contemporary American art scene particularly inspiring. He felt that the nation's nonacademic creations, whether produced in the pueblos of the Southwest or the hills of upstate New York, were far more vital and original. While the Galerie St. Etienne's 1940 Grandma Moses exhibition fit within an accepted art-world paradigm, it turned out that the artist also had an overwhelming popular appeal. Partly this was due to her advanced age and genuinely folksy personality, but beyond this, Moses represented an idealized vision of America that had originated in the depths of the Great Depression and would continue to resonate in the Cold War years. Similar to other self-taught painters who caught the eye of the art establishment in the 1930s, Moses epitomized democratic egalitarianism and self-made success. Often wrongly characterized as nostalgic, her paintings did not so much enshrine the past as depict enduring human values capable of withstanding both economic upheaval and the destructive force of mechanized warfare.

 

For a very brief period, self-taught artists like Kane and Moses were accorded a singular stature within the U.S. art world: they were perceived as being simultaneously American and modern. However, trained American artists resented being upstaged by amateurs, and when MoMA gave a one-man show to the retired garment worker Morris Hirshfield in 1943, a huge uproar ensued. MoMA's chairman, Stephen C. Clark, perceiving Barr as a threat to the museum's dignity, had him removed forthwith from his post as Director. Not only did MoMA hereafter cease promoting the work of self-taught artists, but the art word as a whole turned its back on the genre. In the wake of World War II, the United States needed a sophisticated art commensurate with its new position as a global superpower. When a Grandma Moses show, sent to Europe in 1950, received rave reviews, American critics were nonplussed. "Europeans like to think of Grandma Moses as a representative of American art," the New York Times complained. "[She] represents both what they expect of us and what they are willing to grant of us."

 

Moses unwittingly got caught up in a far-ranging battle for America's artistic identity. Even as the art world yearned for a sophisticated national art, the American public remained suspicious of modernism. "Ham-and-eggs art," President Truman called Jackson Pollock's dribbles. Right-wing congressmen thought abstration was a Communist plot. At the same time, Moses was probably the most beloved artist in America, the subject of best-selling books, mass-produced greeting cards and one of the first televised "docu-dramas." Unfortunately, popular success proved anathema to the postwar art establishment. Critics such as Dwight Macdonald, Russell Lynes and Clement Greenberg believed that democracy, universal literacy and technology were destroying American culture by dumbing it down for the masses. They sliced culture into high, low and middlebrow segments, or as Greenberg famously put it "avant-garde and kitsch." In a consumer society, only the avant-garde was capable of creating legitimate art, which was, by definition, incomprehensible to the masses.

 

Greenberg was pivotal in retooling Barr's formalism for the postwar era. Both men agreed that since the merits of an artwork derive solely from its aesthetic components, resemblance to nature might as well be dispensed with. Greenberg further decreed that the only viable subject for art is art itself. "Content," he wrote, "is to be dissolved so completely into form, that the work of art... cannot be reduced in whole or in part to anything not itself." This art of pure form first revealed itself, to Greenberg and others, in Abstract Expressionism. The Abstract Expressionists had absorbed the lessons of the European avant-garde and then bested it at its own game. The many vectors in Barr's flowchart, implying historical inevitability, had merged and then emerged in a single location: The United States of America.

 

Despite the American public's lingering unease with Abstract Expressionism, the genre proved to be the perfect art form for the Cold War. Ideologically neutral, abstraction was said to represent creative freedom, an imposing moral counterweight to the Soviet Union's socialist-realist propaganda. In jettisoning content, however, apologists for the postwar American avant-garde rejected, ignored or misinterpreted vast swaths of modernist art history. Combined with the Cold War's political agenda, this created a vexed environment for socially engaged artists such as Käthe Kollwitz. Contemporary humanists like Leonard Baskin found themselves in a position similar to that of Grandma Moses: successful, but increasingly at odds with the critical elite. The irony is that, for all its purported political neutrality, abstraction was promoted by an anti-Communist idealogy as rigid as anything in the Soviet Union.

 

Yet even at the height of the Cold War, the American art scene was far from monolithic. Kallir persisted in his program of educating the public about Austria's figural Expressionists by repeatedly exhibiting their work, and he gradually forged alliances with like-minded museum personnel. Under the aegis of Richard Davis, the Minneapolis Institute of Art became the first American museum to acquire a Schiele oil, through a bargain sale facilitated by the Galerie St. Etienne. Through gift or sale, Kallir placed Klimt paintings in the collections of Harvard, MoMA, the Carnegie Museum and the National Gallery of Art. MoMA turned down Kallir's offer to give them a Schiele oil, but Thomas Messer, Director of the Guggenheim, was delighted to accept. Messer also collaborated with Kallir on the first American museum show of Schiele's work, which traveled to six institutions in 1960, and on a monumental Klimt/Schiele exhibition, held at the Guggenheim in 1965. Many of Kallir's scholarly counterparts had roots in Central Europe. Messer was a Czech émigré, and Peter Selz, who wrote one of the first English-language textbooks on Expressionism, had fled Nazi Germany before the war. Gradually these cumulative efforts trickled down to younger American art historians like James Demetrion and Alessandra Comini. Modernism's Germanic strain has since been acknowledged on its own terms in major exhibitions at the Getty, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery and many other American institutions, as well as by the establishment of the Neue Galerie New York, Ronald Lauder's museum of Austrian and German art.

 

These relatively recent developments are part of a broader, ongoing effort to extract modernism's multivalent components from the formalist schema imposed by Barr, Greenberg and others. Modernism is no longer seen as a singular movement, deriving from similarly cohesive component "isms," but rather as a complex web of loosely related aesthetic impulses incorporating minutely calibrated personal and local differences. "Folk," "primitive" or "outsider" art, long modernism's impoverished stepchild, is also coming in for reappraisal. For the first time, the self-taught artist's intentions, methods and individual context are receiving serious attention. To some extent, these changes reflect the decentralization of the art world produced by globalization. The United States is no longer an overarching superpower. As centrifugal forces continue to draw money and attention to areas like China, India and the Middle East, we can expect to witness the critical elevation of innumerable artistic creations that would formerly have been dismissed.

 

Today it is not so necessary to win "converts" to the cause of figural Expressionism, but correcting the broad stereotype of the past through in-depth research remains of pressing concern. Since Otto Kallir's death in 1978, his successors Hildegard Bachert and Jane Kallir have considerably expanded the Galerie St. Etienne's commitment to scholarship. The Schiele catalogue raisonné project, begun by Otto Kallir when he was still in Vienna and continued by his grand-daughter Jane, has acquired increased significance in light of the artist's high values and the concomitant proliferation of forgeries. Provenance research, too, has greater meaning in a climate newly hospitable to Holocaust-related restitution, a cause championed by the Galerie St. Etienne long before it became fashionable. In addition to her many Schiele publications, Jane Kallir has writted extensively on all the gallery's artists, and her quarterly newsletters have won a wide following. In 1980, St. Etienne established the practice (then virtually unheard of for commerical galleries) of mounting ambitious loan shows on its own premises. The gallery has also, in the intervening decades, curated exhibitions for over 50 museums across Europe, the U.S and Asia, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Belvedere in Vienna.

 

The artists represented by the Galerie St. Etienne over the course of its 75-year history vary greatly, but all share a common humanistic orientation. Content and form complement one another in their work, combining to affect the viewer on a profoundly personal level. In the last decades, the gallery has broadened its original Austrian base to encompass the full range of German Expressionism. Similarly, the gallery has extended its reach from prewar self-taught painters, such as Hirshfield, Kane and Moses to art brut and "outsiders." Sue Coe, a contemporary artist who mines the same vein of social criticism as Käthe Kollwitz, has been represented by St. Etienne since 1989. Leonard Baskin joined the gallery's roster in 2007.

 

The alternate views of art history presented at the Galerie St. Etienne offer more than just a corrective to an outmoded formalism. The lasting resonance of the St. Etienne artists cautions us not to take too seriously any of the art world's momentary trends. As Otto Kallir knew, one needs a deep understanding of historical context, as well as an instinct for quality, to assess any artist's long-term importance. Kallir once predicted that formalist art would not ultimately survive, because future generations will lack the specific theoretical grounding required to make sense of it. Great art taps into universals that transcend the boundaries of time and place.