Image: [Samuel Kootz in exhibition]. Kootz Gallery records, 1923–1966. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Dealer's Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945–1966 will be the first exhibition that examines the critical role Kootz (1898–1982) played in establishing modern American art as an international force. Kootz’s New York gallery (operational 1945–1966) was instrumental in promoting the careers of several major Abstract Expressionist artists, including Robert Motherwell, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, and William Baziotes. Kootz was an alumnus of UVA, graduating in 1921, and also made a major gift of paintings to The Fralin in 1976–1977.
Until now, Samuel Kootz has been underrepresented in the scholarship of the postwar period, despite representing much of the major talent in twentieth-century art. The majority of the exhibition focuses on the formative years of the gallery, during which Picasso and Motherwell served as proverbial cornerstones to the operation, representing the old and new guard. The show will focus exclusively on art supported by Kootz, and will reflect this critical period in American art through the unprecedented lens of gallerist and agent, one that had a global impact and whose influence continues to be strongly felt today.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated scholarly publication. This catalogue will include research and essays by noted experts that closely examine Kootz’s career and activities with the Kootz Gallery, his writings, relationships with individual artists, collectors, and dealers, and the trajectories of the artists who showed at his gallery, in order to provide a new perspective on this moment in American art.
The publication will be available to purchase for $20.00 plus shipping. To purchase a copy of the Kootz publication, contact Lisa Jevack.
A version of this exhibition will travel to the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York in January.
A Symposium on Samuel M. Kootz (Col ‘21) and the Kootz Gallery at Mid-century
November 2–3, 2017
Speakers will examine the role Kootz played as a dealer and advocate of French and American abstract painting starting as early as the 1930s, when he abandoned his law career in Virginia and moved to New York. Later, when he opened his gallery, Kootz played a significant role in the promotion of abstract expressionism, and brokered the sale of many key works from this period. His commitment to both French and American painting was reflected in his many exhibitions of work by French modernists and his complicated, but lucrative relationship with Picasso.
November 2 | 6 pm
Keynote Speaker and Blizzard Lecturer: Serge Guilbaut
Campbell Hall, Room 153
Professor Emeritus of Art History, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Bombed Pleasure: Post-War Marketing of Modern Art
November 3 | 10 am – 1 pm
Guest Speakers and Panel Discussion
Special Collections, Harrison, Small Auditorium
Jennifer Farrell | Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art in America: Samuel Kootz and the Contemporary Art Market at Mid-Century
Sanford Hirsch | Executive Director, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation
Artist and Dealer: Adolph Gottlieb and Sam Kootz
Harry Cooper | Curator and Head of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Pierre Soulages: A Frenchman in New York
Christa Noel Robbins | Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Criticism, UVA McIntire Department of Art
Artists Without Dealers
Jack Flam | President and CEO, Dedalus Foundation, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art and Art History at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Discussion of Motherwell
November 2—Free parking available in Culbreth Garage after 5 pm. November 3—Passes will be available for parking in Central Grounds Garage.
The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is generously supported by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. The exhibition and catalogue have been made possible by generous support from The Jefferson Trust, an initiative of the UVA Alumni Association; The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation; The Fralin Museum of Art Volunteer Board; the UVA Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds; The Angle Exhibition Fund; the Fiddlehead Fund, on behalf of A. Cary Brown and Steven E. Epstein; the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation; and Dr. Joyce Lowinson Kootz.
We would also like to thank our in-kind donors: WTJU 91.1 FM and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book. Thank you to the UVA Parents Fund for their generous support of our Student Engagement Council’s “Have You Seen Kootz?” Campaign.