NEW YORK, NY.-
Jane Kallir, co-director of the Galerie St. Etienne
in New York and a renowned expert on Austrian Expressionism, has announced the formation of the Kallir Research Institute, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the development of catalogue raisonnés and related art research. The Institute, which will be housed at the Galerie St. Etienne, is named after Jane Kallirs grandfather, Otto Kallir (1894-1978), Americas first proponent of the works of Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Richard Gerstl, and other Expressionists. Kallir made the announcement during her keynote address today at the opening of the Egon Schiele Symposium at the Leopold Museum in Vienna.
The Institutes initial focus will be the publication of a digital catalogue raisonné of Egon Schieles work in all mediums. The first catalogue of Schieles oils was written in 1930 by Otto Kallir and updated in 1966. Jane Kallirs 1990 update (expanded in 1998) was the first comprehensive Schiele catalogue raisonné, supplementing her grandfathers work on the paintings with new entries on roughly 3,000 watercolors, drawings, prints, and sculptures. The Institute will publish the newly updated catalogue on a dedicated website. Several hundred authentic works by Schiele have been discovered since the 1998 publication and will be included in the new digital edition. The initial phase of the catalogue is expected to be completed on October 31, 2018, which is the 100th anniversary of Schieles death.
At a time when rising art prices have greatly magnified the economic ramifications of forgeries, it is very important to have a reliable and readily accessible means of identifying authentic art works, Kallir says. In addition, the digital format allows us to include much more related information about provenance, collectors, and exhibitions, as well as links to original documents.
The Kallir Research Institute also plans to prepare digital updates of Otto Kallirs catalogues raisonnés on Richard Gerstl and Grandma Moses, artists whose work has long been represented by the Galerie St. Etienne. Gerstl, who was recently the subject of highly acclaimed exhibitions at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and the Neue Galerie in New York, is the most radical and least well known of Austrias modern masters. Only some 70 works survived the artists suicide in 1908, at the age of 25. Otto Kallir discovered Gerstl in 1930, and his 1974 catalogue raisonné has served as the foundation for all subsequent scholarship on the artist.
The issue, explains Jane Kallir, is not documenting the oeuvre, but in this case, reliably dating it. Kallir will work with Raymond Coffer, whose doctoral dissertation, Gerstl and Schoenberg, 2011, is the most comprehensive publication on Gerstl to date. At Kallirs request, several museums that house Gerstl collections, including the Kunsthaus Zug in Switzerland and the Leopold Museum and Wien Museum in Vienna, have agreed to scientifically test the artists paintings. By analyzing Gerstls methods and materials, Kallir adds, it should be possible to posit a logical developmental path and, thereby, to more accurately date the works.
Otto Kallirs Grandma Moses catalogue raisonné, published in 1973, is also in need of updating. Jane Kallir points out that several hundred works have since been discovered. The Institute will expand the entries and supplement the catalogue with comprehensive literature and exhibition citations.
Taking the Schiele catalogue raisonné online is not only an exciting prospect but also, Kallir admits, a massive undertaking. The digital universe offers infinite space to expand knowledge as well as infinite possibilities for organizing, sorting, and accessing data. For example, Schieles own writings and letters had to be cited as footnotes in the 1990 printed catalogue raisonné, but Kallir hopes that the forthcoming digital version will link to the comprehensive database of documents compiled by the Leopold Museum, which houses the largest and most prominent Schiele collection in the world.
Well known for her scholarship on Austrian and German Expressionists, Jane Kallir is considered the worlds authority on Egon Schiele. She follows in the tradition of her grandfather who founded the Galerie St. Etienne in New York in 1939, and organized the first American museum shows of Schieles work. Jane Kallir has curated more than 50 museum exhibitions in Europe, the United States, and Asia, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Belvedere in Vienna, and is the author of more than 20 art books. Upon her grandfathers death in 1979, she became co-director of the gallery.