Galerie Karsten Greve opens an exhibition focusing on the late work of Swiss artist Louis Soutter
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, November 30, 2023

Galerie Karsten Greve opens an exhibition focusing on the late work of Swiss artist Louis Soutter
Louis Soutter, Potentats d'Imfirmités, 1937 – 1942. Ink and oil on paper (finger painting), 43,9 x 58 cm / 17 1/4 x 22 3/4 in., recto upper left titled: POTENTats d'Imfirmités. The work is registered at The Swiss Institute for Art Research, Zurich, with the SIK-ISEA #72789 LS/P 6. Photo: Nikolai Saoulski, Köln. Courtesy Galerie Karsten Greve Köln Paris St. Moritz.

COLOGNE.- After the success of the show on display in the gallery's Paris location through the summer of 2020, Galerie Karsten Greve now presents an exhibition focusing on the late work of Swiss artist Louis Soutter (1871–1942) in Cologne. To complement the presentation of Karsten Greve's remarkable collection, new loans made available by private collectors are being shown in Cologne. Galerie Karsten Greve first presented Louis Soutter's finger paintings in a 1998 Cologne exhibition that was to contribute to the artist's welldeserved renown in Europe and across the world. After more than ten years of preparation, Karsten Greve is particularly pleased to be giving Louis Soutter's finger paintings special weight in the accompanying publication, Louis Soutter. Un Présage, published to mark Louis Soutter's 150th birthday. With texts by Michel Thévoz, the author of the catalogue raisonné on Louis Soutter, French writer Éric Vuillard, and a poem by Hermann Hesse, this book is distinguished by its literary emphasis.

Born the son of a pharmacist in Morges, in the Swiss canton of Vaud, in 1871, Louis Soutter had a promising career path paved for him: after studying engineering in Lausanne, he chose architectural studies, which he abandoned for music. He trained as a violinist with composer and conductor Eugčne Ysa˙e at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, and subsequently resumed his drawing studies. The artist developed an interst in the European avant-garde, especially in a group of Belgian painters known as the Société des Vingt, or Les XX, founded in 1883. Louis Soutter emigrated to the United States where he married Madge Fursman, an American musician, in Colorado Springs, where he was appointed head of the Fine Arts department at Colorado College. Following a bout of typhoid fever, the death of his father and sister, and after his divorce, the artist returned to Switzerland in 1903, physically weak and mentally broken. In 1915, he lost his position as first violinist in the Geneva Symphony Orchestra, and was obliged to serve as a cinema and coffee house violinist. In 1923, Louis Soutter, heavily in debt by the time, was detained in a hospice in Ballaigues, a remote village in the Vaud Jura. It was in the desolate seclusion of this institution that his highly productive creative phase began; it was to last almost twenty years. Despite living the life of a hermit, his work was supported by a small group of friends, amongst them Jean Giono and the Vallotton brothers, who presented his works in their Lausanne gallery, and not least by his cousin, the architect Le Corbusier, who organized exhibitions for him in the United States. As Le Corbusier was at odds with his cousin's finger paintings, he eventually turned away from him. Unnoticed by the public, Louis Soutter died in Ballaigues in 1942.

It was not until 1961 that Louis Soutter was rediscovered thanks to the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, which had acquired a large selection of works and dedicated a first retrospective to the artist. The Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris brought a major part of his drawings back to light. His work has been presented in international exhibitions from the outset, and is held in prestigious private and public collections, including the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum Winterthur, and Kunsthaus Zürich.

Stirring, striking and of an extraordinary intensity, Louis Soutter's finger paintings seem to be illustrations of the poem Hermann Hesse wrote about the painter in 1961: "neither handsome nor reasonable, it’s precise; I paint with ink and blood, I paint truth. Truth is terrifying." A visionary imagination which brings to mind traumatic experiences and states of fear is evident in the finger paintings focusing on a wide range of Christian and mythological motifs. Employing a special technique, Louis Soutter would "stamp" the figures on paper using his fingertips dipped in black ink, oil or printer's ink. Closely aligned up, the black silhouettes are devoid of any physical substance, neither is their swaying flexibility an expression of vitality; rather, the black shadows gesticulating with oversized hands seem to stagger, to reel as if they were caught in a net or behind a wire. Historical incidents in the ghettos and concentration camps of that era were reflected in Louis Soutter's finger paintings at the same moment that they took place in reality and even before. His art of the later period appears prophetic in character, and without parallel in European art of the nineteen thirties and fourties.

Today's News

March 19, 2021

Alexander Calder, MoMA's household god, still holds sway

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers sees intense bidding and elevated prices in first two sales of 2021

Up to my eyeballs in art at Superblue

Global art market shrank 22% in pandemic year, study says

Christie's to launch 20th and 21st Century Art Evening sales in May

Exhibition gathers works made by artists at the beginning of 2020 in response to the pandemic

Getty Museum collaborates with international partners in Bulgaria and Jordan

Dallas Museum of Art opens first solo U.S. exhibition of Cubist Juan Gris in over three decades

Christine Nofchissey McHorse, Navajo ceramist, dies at 72

In a palace of colonialism, a 'quiet revolutionary' takes charge

Thomsen Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Yoshio Okada

Phillips announces highlights from the London Spring Sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Irma Stern's Arabian portrait triumphs at Bonhams African art sale

'No pistachios': Worn-down Iran's gloomy New Year festival

Satoko Fujii, a pianist who finds music hidden in the details of life

Georgia Taylor-Berry and Jesse Taylor announced as reciepients of Sculpture by the Sea Artist Award

New TextielLab weaving machine brings excitement to artists and designers

A stunning diamond necklace fetches £23,560 in Dix Noonan Webb's spring auction

Nationalmuseum and the Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum open to visitors from 6 April

SITE Santa Fe appoints Louis Grachos as Executive Director

Taking stock of James Levine's tarnished legacy

Met musicians accept deal to receive first paycheck since April

Liverpool Biennial 2021 unveils new outdoor, sonic and digital commissions

Galerie Karsten Greve opens an exhibition focusing on the late work of Swiss artist Louis Soutter

Solo exhibition of recent paintings and watercolors by Ann Craven opens at Karma

Why do People Play in Online Casinos?

Can YouTube Replace Guitar Books?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful