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Exhibitions & Galleries 



'Peinture au doigt'

By Tal Levy
11 March, 2024



1937 - 1942
Ink and gouache on painting
65 x 50 cm

Embark on an immersive journey into the captivating world of Louis Soutter, as his artwork takes center stage in an exclusive exhibition at Galerie Karsten Greve.
Through a meticulously curated selection of 14 paintings, the viewers are invited to delve into the enigmatic conception of this Swiss artist whose life and work transcend conventional boundaries. From his early days as a nomadic violinist to his emergence as a visionary artist, Soutter's creations pulse with emotion and energy, inviting viewers to unravel the mysteries of his artistry.

Born in Morges, Switzerland in 1871, Louis Soutter's artistic evolution was shaped by a series of formative experiences. After brief architecture studies in Geneva, he pursued excellence in violin performance in Brussels under the tutelage of Eugène Ysaye. In Brussels, Soutter's artistic inclinations were deeply shaped by the predominant stylistic currents of the era, notably the avant-garde movements of Art Nouveau and Symbolism. Immersed in such movements and participating in artistic circles like Les XX, Soutter's creative vision flourished, laying the groundwork for his distinctive artistic voice.

Soutter's artistic education continued with brief stints under the tutelage of painters such as Charles Koëlla in Lausanne and Léon Gaud in Geneva before he ventured to Paris. There, amidst architectural studies, he further honed his craft under the guidance of luminaries like Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. The eclectic influences of his formative years shaped Soutter's unique approach to art, characterized by a fusion of traditional techniques with avant-garde sensibilities.


Theo Frey / Fotostiftung Schweiz»

Despite his artistic promise, Soutter faced numerous personal challenges throughout his life. Following a short period of stability in the United States, where he married and assumed a position at Colorado College, he returned to Switzerland in 1903 amidst personal turmoil. The death of his father, dissolution of his marriage, and struggles with mental health marked a turbulent period in Soutter's life, impacting both his personal well-being and artistic output.

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Vers l'inconnu, il est mort

1937 - 1942

Oil on paper

44 x 58.3 cm

Riddled with articular osteoarthritis during the latter period of his life, Soutter adapted his artistic techniques, painting with his fingers to create dynamic, trembling forms on large sheets of paper. This shift in style, exemplified by works such as "Un Présage".

Soutter's enduring impact on the modern art landscape cannot be overstated. His innovative techniques, characterized by bold compositions and dynamic forms, challenge conventional categorizations.


Galerie Karsten Greve showcases Soutter's the final exploration of form and movement.
The galerie, inviting the viewer to contemplate the depth of his artistic vision and experience the resonance of Soutter's art as it transcends boundaries of temporality and genre, offering profound insights into his human condition.

Photo: Galerie Karsten Greve

Through ink and gouache on paper, Soutter painted truth—terrifying yet compelling—a testament to the enduring power of artistic expression.

The exhibition gives a taste of timeless works of art and celebrates the tragedy of the artist's life.

It is paramount, especially today when "Timeless" is shallowly ubiquitous, to preserve a creation in which it proves itself as an enduring masterpiece, transcending temporal confines to offer a selfless gift and moment that crosses the everyday to the viewer.

Galerie Karsten Greve Paris


Closing : 04.05.24

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