Marie-louse Motesiczky "Paradise Lost & Found"

Galerie St. Etienne

poster for Marie-louse Motesiczky "Paradise Lost & Found"

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Marie-louse Motesiczky: Paradise Lost & Found is the first American exhibition of paintings by the artist, who was a student of Max Beckmann and a lover, for over 50 years, of the Nobel-laureate Elias Canetti. Motesiczky, a member of a prominent Jewish aristocratic clan that once formed the financial and cultural backbone of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was driven into exile by the Nazi Anschluss in 1938. Comprising 66 paintings and drawings from the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust and a selection of works by Beckmann, the exhibition is a document of loss and renewal.

MARIE-LOUISE MOTESICZKY: Paradise Lost & Found is a document of loss and renewal. early works reflect motesiczky’s aristocratic life in prewar austria. Kröpfelsteig, Hinterbrühl (1927) shows a street near the family’s immense country estate. In Henriette Motesiczky I (1929), the artist’s mother, a talented poet and society hostess, reclines in bed, where she was wont to spend days at a time. Portrait of Karl Motesiczky (1928) depicts the artist’s brother (who would die in auschwitz) reading marx’s Das Kapital.

Motesiczky, a statuesque beauty who had many lovers before Canetti, displays a characteristic combination of elegance and vulnerability in Self-Portrait with Straw Hat(1937), Self-Portrait in Black (1959) and her Last Self-Portrait (1993). much of the artist’s later work, such as Conversation in the Library (1950; a portrait of Canetti with his colleague franz steiner) alludes to the intellectual life that she, her mother and other Central european emigrés attempted to recreate in england after 1938. distant memories haunt the painting The Old Song (1959), in which a refugee neighbor serenades Henriette motesiczky, whose bed is both a link to a past life of decadent repose and an emblem of frailty. It is generally agreed that the artist’s crowning achievement is the series of portraits she did of her mother, which span the five decades from 1929 until Henriette’s death in 1978. a dreamlike quality characterizes many of these works, such as Morning in the Garden (1943), which shows mother and daughter playing with a huge golden ball, or The Greenhouse (1979) a posthumous tribute in which Henriette makes one last visit to her garden, accompanied by the ghosts of her dogs. the garden and its flowers (depicted in numerous still lifes) were potent symbols for motesiczky, representing both the beauty and transience of daily
existence, and the ability of art to transcend death.



from October 12, 2010 to December 31, 2010

Opening Reception on 2010-10-12 from 18:00 to 20:00

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