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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 11, 2017 - October 13, 2017

ARTISTS

Baskin, Leonard

Beckmann, Max

Dix, Otto

Heckel, Erich

Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig

Klimt, Gustav

Kokoschka, Oskar

Kolbe, Georg

Kollwitz, Käthe

Moses, Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma")

Motesiczky, Marie-Louise

Mueller, Otto

Nolde, Emil

Schiele, Egon

Schmidt-Rottluff, Karl

ESSAY

Our nation is divided, as are the United Kingdom and Western Europe. The election of Donald Trump, Brexit and the rise of right-wing populism across the European continent suggest that globalization has failed as a progressive ideology. The art world is resoundingly international in its orientation, yet globalization has not been kind to all of us. Increasingly our community has become divided between economic “haves” and “have-nots.” After a relatively easy recovery from the 2008 recession (which made art more attractive as an “alternative asset class”), the art market declined sharply in the past two years. While accurate figures are notoriously difficult to come by, it has been estimated that overall sales decreased by approximately 7% in 2015, and a further 11% in 2016. Auction sales, which are easier to calculate, dropped by between 18.8% and 26% in 2016 alone. The art market has always been subject to cyclical downturns, but this feels like a fundamental shift.

 

The race to the top, which began at least ten years ago, has accelerated. Even in the recessionary climate of 2016, dealers whose volume exceeded $50 million saw an increase in sales of 19%. So far in 2017, the big auction houses have staged a modest comeback by selling fewer items at higher prices. In the May Impressionist/Modern evening auction at Christie’s, a mere twelve lots (of 53) accounted for 75% of the sales total. At Sotheby’s contemporary sale a few nights later, the 110.5-million-dollar Basquiat contributed more than one third to the gross. According to this year’s Art Basel/UBS market report, half the proceeds generated at auction come from the 1% of artists whose work sells for over $1 million. It is said that there are about 140 people in the world with the means and desire to spend $50 million or more on a single work of art; 300 potentially in the market for works priced above $20 million; and about 1,000 willing to spend over $5 million. Like the rest of the world, the art world is dominated by the super-rich.

 

And, like the global middle class, the middle of the art market has eroded. Media attention may focus on multimillion-dollar transactions, but most artworks sell for under $50,000. In that price range, it is difficult for smaller galleries (those with fewer than ten employees) to generate enough income to meet overhead in high-rent cities like New York and London, to compete on the costly art fair circuit, and to keep their artists from being poached by better-financed competitors. “It was like someone turned the faucet off,” said Lisa Cooley, one of many dealers who felt compelled to close shop during the recent market downturn. Others include such venerable players as David McKee and Andrea Rosen. Magnus Edwards, observing that most of his sales were generated at art fairs, decided to shutter his London gallery, Ibid. Still, collectors and dealers alike complain about art fair glut. “We do art fairs where we don’t make any money,” José Freire, owner of Team Gallery in New York’s SoHo, told Artnews. “The art fairs sell themselves to us, not based on the idea that we will profit, but that we will go there and lose money—but we’ll come back with, you know, business cards. By what business model is that normal?”

 

Although masters like Klimt, Modigliani, Munch and Picasso can command prices in the nine figures, modernism now accounts for a smaller percentage of art sales by value (23%) than postwar and contemporary art (52%). Partly this drop is due to a natural process of attrition, as the best older works become permanently enshrined in museum collections. But the obsession with “trophy” objects has been devastating to what might be termed interstitial items: lesser pieces by major artists, and work by secondary members of the leading modernist movements. There is no logical relationship between the monetary value of a great Schiele watercolor and that of a typical drawing, even though the latter probably tells us more about the artist’s developmental process. E.L. Kirchner far out-prices his Brücke colleagues Erich Heckel, Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. The market’s lopsided preferences shred the fabric of art history.

 

The pervasive preoccupation with art as an “asset class” has undermined connoisseurship, the traditional mechanism for assessing aesthetic quality. Confusing financial value with artistic value, collectors chase after the same artists. Dealers likewise feel compelled to follow the money; few these days can afford to devote an entire career to developing expertise in a narrow area of specialization. Art fair booths do not encourage contemplation or the sort of in-depth presentations possible with a larger gallery space. In the press, breathless reports of auction records and trendy personality profiles have largely supplanted serious art criticism. For much of the twentieth century, the art world was compelled to “sell” modern art—not so much commercially as intellectually—to a skeptical public. The popularity of contemporary art in the twenty-first century, however, has diminished the need for educational proselytizing.

 

Meanwhile, despite its popular appeal and statistical gains, the contemporary art market has been damaged by aggressive speculation. For a few years before the bubble burst in 2015-16, collectors were gobbling up work by young, untested artists in the belief that they could turn a quick profit. Auction houses happily joined the flipping frenzy, triggering an accelerated boom-and-bust cycle. The results of Phillips’ September 2016 “New Now” sale document this trajectory: Math Bass (b. 1981), 2014 auction record $81,250, 2016 price $25,000; Hugh Scott-Douglas (b. 1988), 2014 purchase price $100,000, resold for $30,000 at Phillips; Grear Patterson (b. 1988), peak prices in the six figures, Phillips price $7,500; Christian Rosa (b. 1982), peak prices in the six figures, $22,500 at Phillips; Lucien Smith (b. 1989), 2014 auction record $372,120, 2016 price $16,250. In the wake of the Phillips debacle, the New York Times noted that, “The prices dealers are asking for works are [now] often higher than their resale value at auction.” Such, indeed, has historically been the norm for emerging artists.

 

The conviction that art will, or should, increase in value at a steady rate is relatively new. People dream of devising a mathematical formula capable of calculating the potential upside and risk of specific art investments. Artnet, whose online database contains over 10 million auction records, recently acquired Tutela Capital, a firm that specializes in quantitative art market analysis and predictive modeling. At around the same time, Sotheby’s acquired Mei Moses Art Indices, which tracks repeat auction sales. ARTSTAQ, a stock exchange for art, uses an algorithm to give a Standard-and-Poor’s-like rating to some 300,000 listed artists. “The art market data is translated into feelings and vice versa,” the company’s head of communications told Artnews.

 

There are a number of problems with trying to get the art market to function like the stock market. First of all, only auction prices are public, and no one has as yet figured out a way to obtain comprehensive information on the 62.5% of art transactions that take place privately. But even if it were possible to compile all the pertinent sales information, that data could at best only give us a snapshot of the past. It would not be predictive. Because tastes are fluid and most artworks are unique, it is exceedingly difficult to extrapolate from one sales result to the next. Whether public or private, sales figures require interpretation by knowledgeable individuals, and that makes the numbers impervious to mathematical modeling.

 

Among the current art world’s most profound divides is that between investors and collectors. Investment aside, people buy art for any number of reasons: because they feel an emotional connection to the work; because living with art enhances their daily existence; because collecting connects them with a stimulating group of like-minded individuals. Most acquire a piece here and there over the course of time, and stop when they run out of wall space. A relatively small percentage, however, develop the sustained creative engagement with objects that characterizes the dedicated collector. A collection in this classic sense is a self-contained world controlled by its maker, who determines its parameters and endows its contents with meaning. The objects in a collection, removed from their original contexts, are redefined in terms of their relationship to one another. The collector’s mastery within this realm, according to psychologists, serves as a buffer against the anxieties of daily existence and the fear of death. Art acquires a spiritual dimension by virtue of its perceived capacity to transcend mortality.

 

Inasmuch as collecting is an extremely personal activity, it is not surprising that collections differ widely, but the process itself is less variable. Often the pursuit of a desired object is as emotionally charged as its eventual acquisition. Ronald Lauder recalls falling in love with Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I as an adolescent on his first visit to Vienna. Decades later, after protracted international legal wrangling, he finally got his “Woman in Gold.” Recognizing what would become a lifelong passion for Austrian modernism, the teenaged Lauder also went out and hired a German language tutor. Similarly, Dr. Richard Simms’ devotion to the work of Käthe Kollwitz took him ever deeper into initially foreign territory, prompting him to immerse himself in the pertinent literature and eventually to acquire complementary works by the artist’s contemporaries. Collecting is an intellectual journey, an endless, mutually reinforcing cycle of looking and learning. Visual stimulation sparks a desire to study the art and its context in greater depth, and knowledge enhances subsequent visual encounters.

 

In contrast to the copycat buyers so prevalent today, dedicated collectors tend to find lacunae in the marketplace: areas that are underappreciated and where they therefore can more readily make a mark. Merrill C. Berman amassed a world-class collection of modernist art and graphic design, ranging from Russian Constructivism and the Bauhaus to Vietnam-era political posters, at a time when much of this material was routinely thrown away. Lisa Unger Baskin haunted flea markets and antiquarian bookshops seeking publications produced by women, who were then as undervalued as the texts they authored. Leonard Lauder focused on analytical Cubism, a subject so difficult that almost no one else was interested. And few people cared much about Austrian modernism when Leonard’s brother Ronald began collecting it in the 1960s. By shedding light on overlooked but important works, collectors move the culture as a whole forward.

 

Unwittingly, however, passionate collectors also fuel the price escalations that, in turn, goad speculators. “You can’t put together a good collection unless you are focused, disciplined, tenacious and willing to pay more than you can possibly afford,” Leonard Lauder told the New York Times. Intent on nurturing and pruning their holdings, such collectors do sell from time to time: to upgrade, to finance new acquisitions, or because their focus has changed. And when they sell, they are more likely than speculators to realize a profit, because they have a deeper understanding of the art and the market. Nevertheless, monetary gain is not the dedicated collector’s primary motivation.

 

In fact, most of the aforementioned collections are destined for public institutions. Ronald Lauder’s Austrian and German art will go to New York’s Neue Galerie. Richard Simms’ Kollwitzes are at the Getty Research Institute. Lisa Baskin’s collection was recently acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Library at Duke University. Leonard Lauder’s Cubists have been promised to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Merrill Berman’s holdings are constantly featured in museum shows. These people’s lives have been enriched emotionally by the process of collecting, and they, in turn, have enriched our lives by sharing their collections.

 

Those in the financial services industry bemoan the art market’s “asymmetry of information.” However, asymmetry of information is intrinsic to the art world. Not everyone is a trained art historian. Not everyone has the time or inclination to constantly scour galleries, auctions and art fairs, parsing the nuances of pricing. Not everyone has a connoisseur’s eye or the ability to discern the impact of condition on an artist’s original intent. The art world consists of an informal group of artists, collectors, dealers, scholars, curators, critics and writers who collectively, over a period of time, reach a consensus regarding the relative importance and quality of disparate artworks. This consensus, and not the market, determines long-term value.

 

The art world’s shift in emphasis from collecting to trading has created the misperception that art is all about money. Ironically, however, the resulting fixation on investment is counteracted by the disproportionate influence of billionaire buyers, who undercut any sort of credible market structure. Like the broader split in contemporary society, the art world divide pits the interests of a few individuals against those of the community as a whole. Beyond the populist rhetoric, an economy dominated by a wealthy minority is not good for anyone. Unfortunately, our politicians are not doing much to remedy the fundamental inequities that led us to this juncture.

 

Despite the dwindling of first-rate modernist works in the marketplace, this year’s “Recent Acquisitions” exhibition demonstrates that such rarities are still obtainable. Indeed, two of the masterworks in the current exhibition have not been offered for sale since the early years of the twentieth century. Max Beckmann’s monumental Portrait of Irma Simon comes to us directly from the sitter’s family. Simon, a close friend of the artist, introduced him to his second wife, Mathilde (Quappi) Kaulbach. Irma and her husband Heinrich Simon, editor and publisher of the Frankfurter Zeitung, hosted a popular lunchtime salon where the local intelligentsia gathered on Fridays. The lives of the Jewish Simons changed dramatically following Hitler’s rise in 1933. Heinrich was removed from his position at the newspaper, and the family had to live apart until they were able to immigrate to the U.S. in 1940. These travails were far in the future when Beckmann painted the 23-year-old Irma, yet a sense of foreboding pervades her youthful visage.

 

Another rarity in our summer show is Egon Schiele’s Standing Female in Shirt with Black Stockings and Red Scarf. This bold watercolor, which dates from the peak of the artist’s Expressionist phase in early 1911, was first exhibited at the Gustav Nebehay gallery in Vienna in 1919. Most of the works in that show came from the estate of the artist, who had died the previous year. It is believed that this watercolor was acquired by the great-grandfather of the present owners in 1919. The colors are exceptionally well preserved, because the sheet has seldom been exposed since.

 

Additional highlights among our “Recent Acquisitions” include Emil Nolde’s stunning watercolor portrait of his wife, Ada—as fresh in its coloration as when first painted. Gustav Klimt’s famous Poster for the First Exhibition of the Vienna Secession is almost never seen in the marketplace, and our impression is in exceptionally pristine condition. Images of women were the subject of our spring exhibition, “The Woman Question,” and of our installation at Art Basel in June. Reprising this theme, our summer show includes three life-sized female portraits in oil: by Otto Dix, Oskar Kokoschka and Marie-Louise Motesiczky. The presentation is rounded out with further works by Beckmann, Dix, Erich Heckel, E.L. Kirchner, Klimt, Georg Kolbe, Käthe Kollwitz, Otto Mueller, Nolde, Schiele and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. American offerings include a unique wood sculpture by Leonard Baskin, Man with Pomegranate, and a selection of paintings by Grandma Moses.