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Paintings by Lovis Cornith currently on view at the Galarie Karsten Greve
Lovis Corinth, Rote Rosen, 1925, Oil on canvas, 60 x 45,5 cm / 23 2/3 x 18 in. Signed and dated recto in the middle right: Lovis CORiNTH. 1925. Cat. rais. Berend-Corinth 1958, #981 / Cat. rais. Berend-Corinth/Hernad 1992, #981. LCo/M 10. Photo: Galerie Karsten Greve. Courtesy Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne Paris St. Moritz.

COLOGNE.- Galerie Karsten Greve has dedicated an exhibition to the painter Lovis Corinth (1858-1925) that began on November 18th and will continue through to January 28th, 2023. This first such presentation at Karsten Greve's Cologne location was preceded by a premiere at his Paris gallery space in the spring of 2022. On display will be fifteen pieces from Lovis Corinth's late creative years (1915- 1925), in which the artist passionately devoted himself to the subjects of landscape, self-portrait, and floral still lifes, motifs that have always been linked to the idea of the finite nature of existence.

Among the fifteen works on show are fourteen paintings and watercolors from the Karsten Greve Collection as well as an original etching on loan from the Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See. The presentation focuses on painterly aspects, such as the tempo, the color palette, and Corinth's search for "pure painting". The exhibition invites visitors to rediscover one of the most important and versatile German painters who was a respected artist in his lifetime, but whose legacy was overshadowed by the social and political turmoil of the 20th century. In 1937, hundreds of works by Lovis Corinth were labelled "degenerate" and fell victim to a confiscation campaign carried out by the National Socialists throughout Germany, his works were stolen from private collections or scattered through distress sales, and gradually disappeared from the public eye. To this day, numerous pieces are believed to have disappeared during the Second World War, many are suspected of being Nazi-looted art, and others are the subject of a restitution claim.

Lovis Corinth painted flower pieces of infinite delicacy such as Helle Rosen, 1915, and Flieder im Kelchglas, 1923. His Chrysanthemen im Krug, from 1918, is a magnificent display of flowers reminiscent of bouquets of chrysanthemums painted by Auguste Renoir or Gustave Caillebotte, or of depictions of the Giverny garden that fascinated Claude Monet so much. As Herbstblumen in Vase, 1924, impressively demonstrate, Lovis Corinth increasingly developed an interest in lush floral compositions whose variety of shapes and intense colors corresponded to his expressive use of pictorial means. The radiance of the marigolds or dahlias oscillates between warm yellow and brownish red. The dissolution of the subject matter in the act of painting is part of his artistic concept: "true art means using unreality. This is the highest goal!" Lovis Corinth jotted down in his diary on March 31, 1925. His focus shifts from the floral motif to the quality of the color and its effect. Seen from close up, the 1923 oil painting Blumen in Bronzekübel shows an explosion of superimposed or juxtaposed impasto brushstrokes in a mixture of green, red, purple, orange, and brown tones with white and yellow reflections. Fine traces of the brush bristles are clearly visible on the surface of the painting: "Every brushstroke is throbbing life," as art critic Gustav Pauli described this phenomenon in 1924. In his late work, Lovis Corinth achieves a unique balance between the representation of the subject and "pure" painting which, in individual parts, is by no means inferior to the gestural painting of a William de Kooning or Cy Twombly.

Louis Heinrich Corinth, who was to call himself "Lovis" later in life, was born in Tapiau, East Prussia (now Gvardeysk, Russia), in 1858. He studied at the academies of arts of Königsberg, Munich, and Antwerp as well as at the private Académie Julian in Paris. In 1891, he relocated to Munich where he was to become one of the founding members of the Munich Secession. A member of the Berlin Secession since 1899, he moved to Berlin between 1900 and 1902; he opened his own art school and, within no time, came to be held in high esteem as an artist as well as a member of society. In 1911, he suffered a stroke. When comparing his artistic production with that of the previous years, no stylistic break is apparent, rather a development. Since 1919, he spent fruitful annual working stays in his summer retreat in Urfeld on Lake Walchen. When Lovis Corinth traveled to Amsterdam in 1925, he contracted pneumonia, and died in Zandvoort on July 17.

During his lifetime he was honored with awards, solo and group exhibitions; international exhibitions held up to today bear witness to the continued appreciation and popularity of the artist. His work is represented in important private and public collections worldwide, including the collection of the Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Neue Pinakothek, Munich; the municipal museum Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau, Munich; Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See; Wallraf-Richartz- Museum & Fondation Corboud, Cologne; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Tate Britain, London; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna; Kunstmuseum Basel and Kunsthaus Zürich; the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Accompanying the exhibition, a comprehensive publication on Lovis Corinth has been published by Galerie Karsten Greve:
Lovis Corinth, with texts by Lovis Corinth, Rainer Maria Rilke, René Schickele, Georg Trakl, Edward Alden Jewell, Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, Hans Weichselbaum, Birgit Jooss, Gitta Ho, Peter Kropmanns; Galerie Karsten Greve, 273 pages, 72 illus., 35 photos, Cologne, Paris, St. Moritz, 2022 (German / French / English), ISBN: 978-3-940824-75-2, 60 euros.

Karsten Greve has been a successful art dealer for fifty-three years. He opened his first gallery in 1973 with a solo exhibition of Yves Klein in Cologne. He then opened additional premises, one in Paris (Rue Debelleyme) in 1989 and one in St. Moritz (Via Maistra) in 1999. Galerie Karsten Greve ranked from the beginning as a leading gallery worldwide and is regularly represented at international art fairs such as the Art Basel shows, FIAC and TEFAF. The gallery organizes important individual exhibitions of renowned international artists such as Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Joseph Cornell, Willem De Kooning, and WOLS. Its program is determined by the owner’s personal contact to artists of the international post-1945 avant-garde, such as Cy Twombly, Louise Bourgeois, Jannis Kounellis, John Chamberlain, and Pierre Soulages. Karsten Greve’s long-standing collaboration with artists such as Gotthard Graubner, Pierrette Bloch and Leiko Ikemura has contributed significantly to them achieving worldwide recognition. The gallery, which is representing about thirty artists, is constantly expanding its portfolio to include rising young artists like Georgia Russell, Claire Morgan, Gideon Rubin, and Raúl Illarramendi. Galerie Karsten Greve is equally well known for its solo exhibitions and its highly ambitious accompanying catalogue productions published by the gallery.

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