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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


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


RECENT ACQUISITIONS

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 17, 2012 - October 13, 2012

ARTISTS

Beckmann, Max

Coe, Sue

Dix, Otto

Grosz, George

Heckel, Erich

Kane, John

Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig

Klimt, Gustav

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kollwitz, Käthe

Kubin, Alfred

Moses, Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma")

Motesiczky, Marie-Louise

Mueller, Otto

Rädler, Josef Karl

Schiele, Egon

Schoenberg, Arnold

ESSAY

For the past dozen years, our annual “State of the Market” reports have repeatedly called attention to the impact of rising income inequality on the art market, correlating the decline of the American middle class with the erosion of the middle market. Last summer’s report described how a “winner-take-all” mentality has transformed some investors and art collectors into gamblers, creating a risky, high-stakes game at the market’s tiny top end. As a result, there is a pervasive sense that our economic system metes out rewards in ways that are at best unfairly arbitrary, and at worst deliberately rigged in favor of a select few. Within the art world, this combination of circumstances creates a situation in which the potential payoff for successful forgers has risen exponentially, while faith in the expertise that once safeguarded the integrity of the market has declined precipitously. Just when we need them most, art experts find themselves increasingly under attack.

 

Stories about art forgery have been much in the news lately. In October 2011, Wolfgang Beltracchi and three collaborators pleaded guilty in a German court to faking works in the styles of Derain, Léger, Pechstein, Kees van Dongen, Max Ernst and others that deceived a number of leading experts, dealers and auction houses. Scarcely a month later, America’s oldest gallery, Knoedler, ceased operations following allegations that its former president, Ann Freedman, had sold inauthentic works attributed to such artists as Jackson Pollock, Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Motherwell. Meanwhile, doubts circulate regarding a group of plaster casts said to have been created by Edgar Degas, and several hundred drawings supposedly given by Francis Bacon to an Italian lover, but few scholars have been willing to openly voice their negative views. A symposium on the purported Bacons, scheduled to take place at London’s Courtauld Institute in January, was cancelled due to fears of litigation.

 

“Anyone can say with impunity that a painting is an authentic work, based solely on personal opinion,” notes Jack Flam, who as president of the foundation overseeing Motherwell’s catalogue raisonné was among the first to go public about the alleged fakes sold by Knoedler. “But if a scholar who specializes in that artist’s work says the painting is not authentic, the threat of a lawsuit arises—even though the scholar’s opinion is right and is being offered gratis and in the public interest.” After spending years and nearly $7 million defending itself against a suit by the disgruntled owner of a questionable silkscreen, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts recently announced that its authentication board would be dissolved. Plagued by similar lawsuits, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation suspended its authentication services in 1995. Last June, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation did likewise. Though it has never been sued, the Lichtenstein Foundation felt that the risk of litigation and the cost of liability insurance constituted an unjustifiable drain on its resources.

 

Since its founding in 1939, the Galerie St. Etienne has assisted with the compilation of numerous catalogues raisonnés and produced five of its own (on Richard Gerstl, Grandma Moses, and on the paintings, prints and other works on paper of Egon Schiele). Such scholarship was at one time considered the natural domain of dealers, who maintain professional ties to artists and their estates, and records of exhibitions and other transactions that are central to documenting an oeuvre. Dealers have long-term, in-depth exposure to the work of artists in whom they specialize and a vested interest in ascertaining the authenticity of what they sell. Furthermore, dealers are among the few people with the financial wherewithal and motivation to sustain the grueling and sometimes decades-long process of writing a catalogue raisonné.

 

Despite the illustrious tradition of dealer-sponsored catalogues raisonnés, there are those who believe that a dealer’s involvement in the marketplace compromises his or her objectivity. While this is no doubt an issue every dealer/authenticator must grapple with, no other catalogue raisonné model is entirely foolproof, either. Artists’ estates, like dealers, often have access to vital records and information about the artist’s working methods, but there is no guarantee that heirs will engage competently or judiciously with their inheritance. Estates and foundations that own art can also, like dealers, be accused of conflict of interest (or antitrust violations, as happened in the above-mentioned Warhol case). Independent scholars are sometimes offered a stake in the sales proceeds for authenticating dubious works. Scholarly committees are feasible only if the artist in question is sufficiently important to have inspired multiple well-versed experts. And of course well-meaning, knowledgeable scholars can disagree or make mistakes.

 

Consensus about the reliability of a given expert is reached within the art world gradually, based on performance over time. Art authentication is neither fun nor glamorous, and (even before factoring in possible legal costs) it is not especially lucrative. Becoming an expert requires a reasonably good eye, but most of all it demands years of conscientious immersion in the artist’s work. Every artist sets his or her own terms of study, based on the idiosyncratic manipulation of materials, unique processes and the developmental interconnections among disparate works. As works are systematically examined and catalogued, these stylistic nuances become clear, and as the dispersion of the oeuvre is tracked across the globe, patterns of ownership also make themselves known. While helpful in supplementing the physical evidence presented by an object, provenance is not in and of itself sufficient to authenticate a work. (Many prominent collectors have owned fakes.) Similarly, the identification of pigments unknown during an artist’s lifetime may be used to unmask a forgery, but the presence of historically appropriate materials does not necessarily prove authenticity. Although provenance and scientific testing can assist in the authentication process, they cannot substitute for connoisseurship.

 

The former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas Hoving, described connoisseurship as an “ineffable sense.” “It is very largely a question of accumulated experience upon which your spirit sets unconsciously,” the Renaissance art expert Bernard Berenson explained. “When I see a picture, in most cases I recognize it at once as being or not being by the master it is ascribed to; the rest is merely a question of how to fish out the evidence that will make the conviction as plain to others as it is to me.” Though connoisseurship is founded on years of focused study, the ability to discern things not immediately visible to most people can make the expert seem like a person claiming to see ghosts. To those with an ax to grind, the expert’s judgment can appear offensively capricious, a situation that is not helped by the fact that attorneys often advise clients not to give reasoned opinions, under the assumption that this will only generate a bottomless quagmire of arguments and counter-arguments. Ultimately, authenticity does not hinge on any one or two factors, but rather on the way innumerable small, subtle details hang together.

 

Among the so-called Schieles regularly submitted to the Galerie St. Etienne for authentication, the vast majority—roughly 30 to 40 works a year—turn out to be fakes. Most of these are so bad as to be virtually harmless. Some are nothing more than innocent homages, copies of documented works that subsequently are unwittingly mistaken for the real thing. This sort of copy tends to be inept, but there are also exquisitely accurate copies that can get confused with the original (especially if its location is unknown or obscure). On occasion a copyist intentionally changes the picture’s date to throw people off the trail, suggesting that the copy is a study for, or later iteration of its prototype. A more creative forger may attempt a pastiche that combines elements from several genuine works. And then there is the not uncommon practice of appending a forged signature to a preexisting work by another artist. Very, very few forgers have the talent to create wholly original compositions similar enough in style to the work of a famous artist that they fool even moderately informed people, much less experts.

 

Most fakes enter the market at the bottom of the “food chain”: through yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops and eBay. “Antiques Roadshow” has encouraged people to believe that everyone has treasure in their attic, but in fact this is rarely the case. (In over three decades of authenticating Schieles, we have encountered exactly one genuine drawing that was acquired at a yard sale.) So long as the price is low, there is little danger in taking a chance on a flea-market “find.” These fakes are usually identified as such before they can enter the high-end art market.

 

Because it is unusual for a genuine work by a well-known artist to materialize out of nowhere, more ambitious forgeries frequently come with elaborate stories: reports by “experts” appointed by the owner, reams of meaningless scientific documentation, arcane invented provenances. In the 1970s, a Schiele forger had facsimiles of the Galerie St. Etienne’s letterhead printed so that he could produce false letters of authentication. (We got wind of the scheme because the forger neglected to pay the printer, who contacted us using the information on the stationery.) The Beltracchi gang concocted beautiful collection labels for the Weimar-era dealer Alfred Flechtheim. In addition to compiling impressive exhibition histories for his fakes, Beltracchi traced the works back to two fictitious collectors, “Werner Jägers” and “Wilhelm Knops.” The now-suspect works sold by Knoedler were all brokered by an obscure Long Island dealer named Glafira Rosales, who claimed to have gotten them from a mysterious “Mr. X, Jr.,” the son of the original owner. According to a recent article in Vanity Fair, Rosales said the identity of “Mr. X” had to be kept secret because he was a closeted homosexual who assembled his collection through gay contacts in the art world.

 

Successful forgeries are surprisingly seductive and can inspire passionate loyalty in their advocates, who become emotionally invested in the works. The temptations are not only financial; hubris also plays a role. While some fakes are battered by artificial aging, others are exceptionally fresh: brighter and more appealing than originals, which are marked by the exploratory complexities that are part of the creative process. As the artist Frank Stella said of the Knoedler/Rosales pictures, they appear “too good to be true.” (Stella nonetheless affirmed his belief in the authenticity of the collection as a whole.) The controversial Bacon collection includes pieces that are far larger and more colorful than any of the artist’s previously authenticated drawings, and that relate closely to his most famous (and pricey) paintings.

 

In many cases of contested authenticity, there is no way to achieve objective certainty. The legal system is not designed to adjudicate such matters. After a graphologist testified that the signatures on the disputed Bacon drawings are genuine (albeit possibly produced in a state of inebriation), an Italian court ruled that the works could not be called fakes. But the court did not say that the drawings are authentic, either, and the matter remains unresolved. Confronted by forensic test results indicating that a Pollock and several Motherwells acquired from Rosales contain pigments that did not exist at the time the works are purported to have been created, Knoedler’s ex-president suggested that the painters might have had access to experimental materials not yet in general circulation. A definitive scientific method of proof—the holy grail of authentication—seemed to be within reach when the Canadian forensics expert Peter Paul Biro announced that he had developed a process for identifying artists’ fingerprints on artworks. However, several fingerprint specialists interviewed for a 2010 New Yorker profile of Biro questioned the similarity of the fingerprints, suggesting they might have been applied by means of a rubber stamp. (Biro is presently suing The New Yorker’s parent company, Condé Nast, for libel.)

 

Biro’s best-known client is a former truck driver named Teri Horton, who in the early 1990s bought a large drip painting for $5 at a California thrift store. “Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock,” Horton’s response when told the canvas might be by the master, became the title of a 2006 documentary tracing her and Biro’s crusade against art-world skeptics. With her spunky combination of ignorance and irreverence, Horton proved a perfect foil for dismissive experts like Thomas Hoving. The film, explained its director Harry Moses, is really “a story about class in America…a story about the art world looking down its nose at this woman with an eighth-grade education.” The film plays to the prevalent stereotype of the art world as “a secretive, clubby place” (in the words of a recent New York Times article), a “world of illusion” (in the words of Glafira Rosales’s lawyer). The belief that “smart and tricky art dealers” run a “racket” for their own benefit formed the basis of a landmark lawsuit against the dealer Joseph Duveen in 1920, and a version of this argument has surfaced in numerous subsequent attacks on authenticators, including the antitrust allegations made against the Warhol Foundation. After all, if the game is fixed, why shouldn’t the Teri Hortons of this world have their chance at the big prize?

 

The present crisis of the art expert arises from a confluence of populist anger at what is perceived as a self-serving wealthy elite, and the inherent subjectivity of the authentication process. Even as our economic system becomes less democratic, there is a push toward the democratization of expertise, in which everyone’s opinion is deemed equally valid, and anyone can find an “authority” to say whatever he or she wants. This leads to a free-for-all in which knowledge and truth are irrelevant, and winning is all that counts. Litigiousness infects all segments of American society, turning our legal system into a surrogate gambling casino, a forum for revenge or extortion. Without economic justice, justice in the larger sense is at risk.

 

Economic justice promises to be a key issue in the upcoming presidential election, and with this in mind, the Galerie St. Etienne devoted its spring exhibition to political artist Sue Coe. “Mad as Hell!” featured a number of classic works from Coe’s early days in New York, as well as drawings and paintings from her new book, Cruel. Our summer exhibition juxtaposes Coe with Weimar-era forebears such as Otto Dix and George Grosz. Sadly, Grosz’s parodies of German society remain as apt today as they were in the 1920s.

 

Among other highlights of the past season, the Galerie St. Etienne in January returned to the subject of self-taught art, an area that has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. Recent donations of major self-taught art collections to mainstream institutions like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, MoMA and Harvard signal the maturation of the field. Leslie Umberger’s appointment as the first curator of folk and self-taught art at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American Art is a further indication that, in the future, the work of self-taught artists will be studied with the same seriousness as that of their academically trained peers. The Galerie St. Etienne this summer is featuring three artists who deserve and can withstand such scrutiny: John Kane, Grandma Moses and Josef Karl Rädler.

 

Our third principal exhibition of the past year, The Lady and the Tramp, focused on images of women in Austrian and German art. The show was inspired by research on our forthcoming book, Egon Schiele’s Women, which will be published by Prestel this fall. As a foretaste of this publication, our summer exhibition includes stellar depictions of female subjects spanning the range of Schiele’s career. Selections by Schiele’s mentor, Gustav Klimt, include a pair of fascinating studies charting the compositional development of his portrait of Friederike Maria Beer (the only sitter to be painted by both Klimt and Schiele). A stunning watercolor from Oskar Kokoschka’s so-called Dresden period, Seated Girl, represents the third of Austria’s great modernists. Perhaps the most unusual of our recent acquisitions is Arnold Schoenberg’s Vision (Mathilde Schoenberg), the only painting by the famous composer to come on the market in decades.

 

Needless to say, the female subject represented something rather different to women artists than it did to men. Sexuality figures hardly at all in the work of Käthe Kollwitz, who identified the feminine with motherhood and a duty to protect future generations from harm. Marie-Louise Motesiczky, by way of contrast, was something of a flirt, and her work chronicles various loves, including an innocent dalliance with Kokoschka and a fifty-year relationship with the Nobel laureate Elias Canetti.

 

Copies of the recently published correspondence between Motesiczky and Canetti, Liebhaber ohne Adresse (in German, 384 pages, hardbound) may be ordered for $50.00, and Sue Coe’s new book, Cruel: Bearing Witness to Animal Exploitation (208 pages, with color illustrations throughout), is available for $25.00 in paperback or $75.00 for the deluxe, signed hardcover edition. Please add $10.00 per book to cover postage and handling; New York residents, please also add sales tax. Checklist entries are accompanied by their catalogue raisonné numbers, where applicable. Unless otherwise indicated, image sizes are given for the prints, sheet sizes for all other works; height precedes width.