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New York loves Florine Stettheimer

September 12th, 2017

Florine Stettheimer. A Model (Nude Self-Portrait), 1915. Oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 68 1/4 in. (122.5 x 173.4 cm.), Framed: 49 5/8 x 68 1/4 in. (126 x 177 cm). Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967.

When Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry opened at the Jewish Museum in New York earlier this year, it was the first major retrospective of her work seen in that city in over 20 years. Apparently the art world couldn’t have been more ready for it! Effusive praise for the rarely shown artist and the show poured in from the New York papers. The exhibition is on view there until September 24, but shortly after that it will hop the border to come directly to the AGO for what will be the first-ever Stettheimer retrospective in Canada, opening on October 21.

Co-chief art critic of The New York Times Roberta Smith wrote a review titled A Case for the Greatness of Florine Stettheimer, saying “…every 20 years or so an exhibition devoted to Florine Stettheimer, the great New York painter, Jazz Age saloniste and cult figure, shakes up modernism’s orderly hierarchies.”

The New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl said of Stettheimer that “In her paintings, as in her homes, Stettheimer gathered the best and the quirkiest spirits and energies—the collective genius—of her epoch, gave them a whirl, and sent them spinning into the future. See the show. Become her latest interesting guest.”

Scholar Christopher Benfey wrote in The New York Review of Books, “Despite the apparent frivolity of her subjects, Stettheimer—represented by over fifty paintings, drawings, and theatrical designs in an elegant show at New York’s Jewish Museum—was an ambitious, deadly serious artist who has never gotten the attention she deserves.”

Artist and critic Jonathon Keats wrote in Forbes, “While her interests can be traced back to Symbolism, which she picked up as a European expatriate in the first decades of the 20th century, she’s really a proto-Pop artist whose paintings foreshadow and elucidate Pop’s conceptual maneuvering.”

High praise indeed!  We can’t wait to hear what you think. Mark your calendars, because Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry arrives at the AGO on October 21.

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