Galerie St. Etienne
65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part I
The Galerie St. Etienne’s principal show of the fall season, 65TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION, PART I: Austrian and German Expressionism, features the work of such artists as Lovis Corinth, Richard Gerstl, Erich Heckel, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Käthe Kollwitz, Alfred Kubin, Paula Modersohn-Becker and Egon Schiele, many of whom were first introduced to the United States by the gallery. PART II, focusing on St. Etienne’s contributions to the field of self-taught art, will take place in early 2005.
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The Galerie St. Etienne was founded in 1939 by Otto Kallir, who was forced from his native Austria by the Nazi Anschluss. Kallir’s original Neue Galerie in Vienna is the namesake of New York’s Museum of Austrian and German Art: one indication of the pivotal role Kallir and his galleries played in promoting Central-European modernism. Most of the artists included in the Galerie St. Etienne’s 65TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION were completely unknown in America in 1939. Over the ensuing decades, Kallir incrementally increased awareness of artists such as Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka through repeated exposure and by carefully placing their paintings in private and public collections. To further his goal, he even gave a number of pivotal works to museums. Kallir also collaborated with museums on major exhibitions of Klimt's and Schiele's work, and wrote a number of key catalogues raisonnés. Since Kallir's death in 1978, his longtime partner, Hildegard Bachert, and granddaughter, Jane Kallir, have continued these activities, with an expanded emphasis on curatorial endeavors and scholarly publications. Of special note among the gallery’s more recent achievements are the first catalogue raisonné of Schiele’s work in all media (1990; revised 1998) and a comprehensive Schiele retrospective, which opened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in 1994 and subsequently traveled to two additional museums.
65TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION, PART I: Austrian and German Expressionism reunites some of the most important paintings sold by the Galerie St. Etienne, including numerous loans from private collections. Highlights of the exhibition include key works by Lovis Corinth, Richard Gerstl (discovered by Otto Kallir in 1931), Erich Heckel (first shown in America at the Galerie St. Etienne in 1955), Gustav Klimt (first American one-man exhibition held here in 1959), Oskar Kokoschka (first shown in 1940), Käthe Kollwitz (the subject to date of dozens of exhibitions organized by the Galerie St. Etienne on its premises and elsewhere), Alfred Kubin (introduced to the U.S. by the gallery in 1941), Paula Modersohn-Becker (introduced by the Galerie St. Etienne in 1958) and Egon Schiele (first American one-man show held at the gallery in 1941).
The 65TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION is documented by a comprehensive checklist, which is available free of charge by mail or can be down-loaded from the gallery’s website http://www.gseart.com.