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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


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

ARTISTS

Barlach, Ernst

Basicevic, Ilija Bosilj

Bauchant, André

Beckmann, Max

Coe, Sue

Darger, Henry

Felixmüller, Conrad

Garber, Johann

Grosz, George

Heartfield, John

Heckel, Erich

Kernbeis, Franz

Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig

Kollwitz, Käthe

Moses, Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma")

Mueller, Otto

Nedjar, Michel

Noelker, Frank

Pechstein, Hermann Max

Rädler, Josef Karl

Reisenbauer, Heinrich

Schiele, Egon

Schmidt-Rottluff, Karl

Walla, August

ESSAY

This is the Galerie St. Etienne’s third “state of the market” report since September 11, 2001. It is hard to believe that nearly three years have passed since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. The shadow of 9/11 hangs over us not so much because the wounds inflicted that day remain raw (though they of course do for some), as because of the lingering volatility and uncertainty, the uncanny mix of the familiar with the unfamiliar. Periods of paralyzing fear—in the last months of 2001 and the first half of 2003, just prior to and during the Iraq war—alternate with narcotizing excesses of consumption. Shopping—for home upgrades, meals at hip restaurants and, yes, art—is our drug of choice. Yet the fear remains. It is fitting that politicians and the news media long ago shortened the phrase “war on terrorism” to “war on terror.” Americans do not deal with the relentless, almost daily acts of terrorism found in countries like Israel, but rather with the far more nebulous presence of terror itself. Fear, as much as anything else, is responsible for the polarization that has beset American politics in these last three years. Fear prompts some people to believe desperately in the President’s righteousness, and others to feel bitterly betrayed by our government. The 2004 presidential election will pit these two types of terror against one another; it will be in part a referendum on fear.

 

The cycles of fear and consumption that have gripped America in the last three years have been alternately bad and good for the art market. When people feel vulnerable and financially insecure, art is regarded as a luxury that can be easily jettisoned. It has not helped that the center of America’s art market, New York, is both literally and figuratively the site of “ground zero” in the war on terrorism. When the atmosphere turns fearful, people stop coming to New York, and all local businesses, including purveyors of art, suffer accordingly. At the moment--a year after major combat operations in Iraq supposedly ended, several months after the capture of Saddam Hussein, and with the economy showing some signs of a genuine recovery--Americans feel relatively secure. But given the mounting American casualties and terrorist attacks in Iraq and elsewhere, we should all be aware of how quickly that apparent security can vanish.

 

While the New York art market has endured several periods of profound stagnation since September 2001, prices never collapsed. And some areas, especially blue-chip modern masters and cutting-edge contemporary art, have flourished. Art, like real estate, can be viewed simultaneously as an investment and as a source of personal comfort and enjoyment. Both the real estate and art markets have benefited from the impulse to turn inward, to “nest,” that followed the terrorist attacks. Historically low interest rates, too, have fueled each market. Regardless of whether one leverages one’s purchases (as some collectors do), during the last three or four years art has generally seemed a smarter place to invest than a bank or the stock market. Consequently, a great deal of attention and cash have been expended on so-called trophy material. Some people have naturally taken advantage of escalating prices to divest their holdings, but for others, rising prices actually provide a disincentive to sell. Collectors (especially those who own extraordinary works) fear that if they sell they will never again be able to acquire similar pieces at affordable prices. So a dwindling supply of choice items combines with red-hot demand to spur further price increases.

 

But the recent art boom has been lopsided. The focus on high-end material, often aided and abetted by auction-house p.r., conceals a vast and frequently foundering middle market. At the New York auctions this spring, the $104 million Picasso eclipsed a flurry of far more anemic results. For some years now, the Galerie St. Etienne’s annual state-of-the market report has chronicled this bifurcation of the art market: the increasingly massive differential between the values placed on supposed masterpieces and everything else, and the sometimes arbitrary factors that separate the two classes of art. However, although the two-tiered market has produced some disturbing and unjustifiable inequities in value, our lopsided market is also in part an organic outgrowth of pervasive, well-established demographic trends.

 

With far more wealth concentrated at the top of the economic pyramid, and successful baby-boomers at the peak of their earning power, there is simply more money now being directed at a relatively limited supply of prestige artworks. A willingness to pay an exceptional premium for status products that are only marginally better in quality—for example, the vodka in the frosted-glass rather than the clear bottle—has today become integral to American consumption patterns. What we are witnessing, in effect, is a comparable “branding” of art. A premium is being exacted for signature works by “name-brand” artists, be they established masters such as Picasso or hot newcomers like John Currin. We all know, however, that nothing is as fickle as taste, and the dustbin of art history is full of now unknown artists who were once hot. Even when dealing with a master such as Picasso, whose importance in art history is unlikely to change, one must wonder whether the artist’s “signature” works—those that are bold, bright and scream “Picasso” from across the room—are necessarily his best. Yes, some works become icons for valid reasons, but great art is not always pretty or easily recognized.

 

So one must ask oneself: does the aesthetic value of a work of art invariably determine its market value, or is it the market that today influences our assessment of a work’s aesthetic merit? Almost thirty years have elapsed since Tom Wolfe wrote The Painted Word, a send-up of the then seemingly all powerful art press. No critic today has the power of a Clement Greenberg or a Harold Rosenberg. Multiculturalism and contextualisation, while necessary correctives to the formalist biases of the Greenberg era, have caused academics to shy away from qualitative judgements. In our museums, the curator’s voice is often muffled by the need to mount crowd-pleasing blockbusters or to mollify corporate sponsors and wealthy trustees (most of whom have their own collecting agendas). For the moment at least, it does seem that the connoiseurship of the marketplace rules.

 

Despite the burst stock-market bubble of the late 1990s, Americans retain a simplistic faith in markets. Markets, it is said, are perfect, because they self-regulate. Markets do generally self-regulate, but only over the long term; on any given day, prices can be wildly off base. This is especially true of auction prices, the art market’s most public face. Whereas stock fluctuations can be tracked on a daily basis, major auctions take place only twice a year, in the spring and the fall. They are thus easily influenced by circumstances (positive or negative) peculiar to the specific sale date. Collectors are reassured by the hypothetical presence of an underbidder at auction, but sometimes there is no underbidder. When works sell at or below the low estimate, as they often do, the buyer has probably been bidding against the undisclosed reserve. Even when a lot soars above the high estimate, it usually comes down to a mere two bidders. Remove one of these, and the price would tumble back. The competitive excitement of an auction sale can stimulate irrational overbidding, but, for reasons no more rational, it can also happen that perfectly good works fail to inspire adequate competitive interest. Many works sold at auction in these past years have brought far less than they could and should have if sold privately, and those rare works sold for “trophy” prices may well not prove readily resalable at comparable levels. In most auctions, at least 10% to 20% of the lots fail to sell at all.

 

While the semi-annual auctions give a momentary read on the market, dealers, who are in the market year-round, are usually in a better position to price works fairly for both buyers and sellers. Time and in-depth experience are needed not only to value art accurately, but to promote it successfully. Dealers are often able to develop more focused expertise than auctioneers, who of necessity must cover relatively broad territories. The now-or-never aspect of auction sales works against subtle or difficult works, which require repeated viewing and contemplation to be fully appreciated. A department head at one of the major auction houses recently commented that he must generate $100 million in sales every six months in order to keep his job. With that kind of bottom-line pressure, auctioneers tend to concentrate most of their energies on multi-million-dollar lots. There is little incentive to pay much attention to works valued at less than several hundred-thousand dollars. At the same time, desperate to woo consignments from the dwindling pool of sellers, auctioneers inevitably overestimate some properties or bow to the demands of overly ambitious sellers. Sometimes the gamble pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t. Under these circumstances, it is easy to understand why the middle market is foundering.

 

It is impossible to predict how present market trends will ultimately play out. The occasionally wild price swings seen at auction make it difficult for all players—sellers, buyers, dealers and auctioneers—to coherently evaluate art, and this uncertainty could eventually erode confidence in the art market as a whole. When prices escalate as rapidly as some have in the past year, there is always the danger that a bubble has been created. To the extent that today’s boom is based on leveraged purchases, rising interest rates and a need to recoup investments quickly could spell trouble. On the other hand, if the economy does rebound, savvy collectors may recognize that there are bargains to be had in the presently under-valued middle market. Some of the market fluctuations we are witnessing today are the result of short-term trends: low interest rates, the aftermath of the dot-com bust and 9/11. Others seem to be based on more deeply entrenched changes in collector demographics and tastes. Nevertheless, insofar as today’s dominant collectors are ruled by momentary fashion, their impact on market values may prove equally fleeting. The Galerie St. Etienne’s market reports always lead to the same conclusion, because there really is only one conclusion when it comes to collecting: it takes time, knowledge and passion to collect successfully. If you follow those rules, you really can’t go wrong, because no matter what happens to the value of what you buy, you will have a great time.

 

The Galerie St. Etienne’s 2004 summer exhibition is given a slightly atypical slant by the forthcoming presidential election. An important component of the show is Sue Coe’s new series, Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round, an examination of the Bush administration. It will come as little surprise to followers of Coe’s career to learn that she is no admirer of George Bush (the “bully” in her title). Like the work of the Weimar-era artists George Grosz and John Heartfield (with which it is paired), Bully is an impassioned protest against the abrogation of democratic and human rights. In these meticulously wrought, finely detailed small drawings, Coe documents what she perceives as the Bush administration's manifold failings. Right-wing Christians, convinced that “God is on our side,” echo the motto that was inscribed on German soldiers’ belt buckles in World War I, and that Grosz lambasted in a series of that title. Expert marksmen, egged on by Rupert Murdoch (the owner of Fox News), take aim at the First Amendment in a carnival shooting gallery. Like Max Beckmann’s 1921 print cycle, The Annual Fair, many of the Bully images employ carnival or amusement-park metaphors. However, one of Coe’s most poignant drawings depicts the artist, a resident alien in this country, being fingerprinted by the U.S. Immigration Service. The capstone of the series, a miniature pastiche of Bruegel’s Triumph of Death, is a denunciation of all ideological or religious fundamentalism, and a plea for universal respect and empathy.

 

The remainder of the Recent Acquisitions exhibition follows our usual practice: recapping highlights of the season just past, while augmenting them with new inventory additions. Among the contemporary artists in our spring exhibition, Animals & Us, Frank Noelker (along with Sue Coe) is making a return appearance in the summer show. Several of Noelker’s Zoo Portraits (just published in book form) are augmented by works from his new series, Chimps. Our fall exhibition, Body & Soul: Expressionism and the Human Figure, enabled us to acquire some striking woodcuts, lithographs and watercolors by such masters as Erich Heckel, E. L. Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Hermann Max Pechstein and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. These German works contrast markedly with the more realistic, delicate drawings of the Austrian Egon Schiele. The art of Käthe Kollwitz, another Galerie St. Etienne favorite, draws upon the tradition of expressive figuration developed in Germany prior to World War I, but links Expressionism to the sociopolitical concerns that came to dominate art during the Weimar era.

 

The Galerie St. Etienne’s other principal area of expertise, “outsider” art, has been consolidating over the last years. Originally, this field had something of a flea-market aspect: prices were low, quality extremely uneven, but there was always the lure of finding treasure amidst the dross. Today, much of that treasure has been culled, and such masters as Henry Darger are broadly acknowledged within the mainstream art world. Certainly our most successful exhibition of the past season was our Darger retrospective, the first ever to display his work in rough chronological sequence. With inventory in the Darger estate now dwindling, our summer exhibition may represent one of the last opportunities for collectors to see a wide selection of available works in one place.

 

Overall, there is a dearth of good new American “outsider” material entering the market, but the Galerie St. Etienne has found European self-taught art to be an area where exciting discoveries can still be made. Josef Karl Rädler, whom we introduced in 2001, remains among the most interesting self-taught artists to come on the scene recently. This year, we were extremely fortunate to bring the work of one of Serbia’s greatest self-taught painters, Ilija Bosilj, to the U.S. for the first time. Bosilj achieved major renown throughout Europe in the 1960s and ‘70s, but the Yugoslav civil war effectively kept his work from wider public view for the past decade. Michel Nedjar and the artists of Gugging, whom we have represented for a number of years, likewise demonstrate the exceptional strength of the self-taught work emerging from Europe. And, last but not least, our summer exhibition would not be complete without the paintings of Grandma Moses, who remains, figuratively, the mother of them all.

 

Another new wrinkle to the Galerie St. Etienne’s summer schedule is our participation in the Basel Art Fair, which takes place this year from June 16 to 22. Art fairs in and of themselves are nothing new; Art Basel, one of the largest and most prestigious of the European fairs, will be celebrating its 35th anniversary. However, the importance of such fairs has arguably increased in the post-9/11 world. Today, “mega-events” like Basel—with their plethora of high-caliber dealers, art and ancillary programming—offer a greater draw for collectors than the semi-annual auction weeks in New York and London. Moreover, globalization and a decline in air travel have made it more necessary for dealers to bring their wares to clients in other cities. Both the roster of significant collectors and the art they buy are becoming more and more international. As documented in Sue Coe’s Bully drawings, globalization has had many pernicious effects, including corporatized imperialism and an attendant rise in terrorism. But it must also be said that art represents the best aspects of globalization: tangible evidence of a shared humanity that transcends boundaries of nationality, ethnicity and religion.

 

Copies of Sue Coe’s Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round may be ordered from the gallery for $18.00 in paperback. Frank Noelker’s book Captive Beauty: Zoo Portraits is available for $50.00 in hardcover, or $25.00 in paperback. If you order by mail, please add $8.00 per book to cover shipping and handling; New York residents, also add sales tax. Checklist entries include catalogue raisonné numbers, where applicable. Unless otherwise indicated, image dimensions are given for the prints and full dimensions for all other works, including photographs.