munich

Florine Stettheimer, Asbury Park South, 1920, oil on canvas, 50 × 60".

Florine Stettheimer

Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus

Florine Stettheimer, Asbury Park South, 1920, oil on canvas, 50 × 60".

At first glance, the paintings of Florine Stettheimer (1871–1944) seem to be sugary confections, products belonging to a girly dream world wrapped in cotton wool and swathed in cellophane, an oblivious indulgence in gaudy luxuries and outlandish tastes, a resolutely private solar system unto itself in which the artist, her sisters Ettie and Carrie, their mother, and the regulars of their salon—Marcel Duchamp, Elie Nadelman, Carl Van Vechten, among others—revolve around each other at close range. That, at least, is the impression one might take away from the richly figured pastel-colored pictures in which Stettheimer captured her bohemian life in New York in an apparently naive and insouciant style. By presenting the first European retrospective of Stettheimer’s unconventional painterly oeuvre, Lenbachhaus in Munich has raised the question of what to make of her art,

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