The Ronald S. Lauder CollectionExhibition
Happy Birthday Neue!
The Neue Galerie's 10th anniversary show suits its ceremonial purpose by providing a perfect distillation of the museum's unique appeal as a focus on German and Austrian art. For the repeat Galerie visitor, the show, which is drawn from Museum co-founder and President Ronald S. Lauder's personal collection, might not feel a significant departure from its usual bread-and-butter, since much of it that presumably drawn from Lauder's collection anyway. Still, that shouldn't detract, since that bread-and-butter is so compelling.
On display are the colorful expressionist paintings of Kirchner and Max Beckmann, the grotesquely gorgeous portraiture of Kokoschka and Egon Shiele, and a multitude of modernist sketches and conceptual pieces. It's elegantly presented, as always. Where the show does grow esoteric even for the museum is in the medieval room, where an eclectic group of Middle Age oddities, most notably the armor and helmets, is so manageably presented that one can discern the collector's particular eccentricity. Perhaps the exhibit isn't a creative departure for the museum, but it is a wonderful reminder of what makes the place special.