Louis Soutter

Württembergischer Kunstverein

The Swiss artist Louis Soutter (1871–1942) is with good reason being reexamined today in the context of neo-Expressionist, or “uninhibited,” painting. This exhibition of nearly 300 works (many literally dug out of private collections) documented an obsessive productivity, the high point of which was reached after his early confinement in an old people’s home, where he lived from 1923 until his death. Soutter, who was professionally trained as an artist, had always been sickly and mentally unstable. Indeed, what permeates the whole of his work is the determinate expressive mania of an artist who struggled fiercely with pain, violent lust, and deformation, and who viewed adaptation to accepted norms as the greatest of all evils. In labeling him an ”outsider" one goes well beyond the current, more casual use of that term.

Organized by the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, this exhibition

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