Galerie Chalette

From Wikitia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Galerie Chalette
La Chalette
9 88th Street, NY, NY.jpg
Location45 West 57th Street, NY, NY, USA
1100 Madison Avenue, NY, NY, USA
9 East 88th Street, NY, NY, USA
OwnerArthur Lejwa
Madeleine Chalette Lejwa
TypeArt gallery

Galerie Chalette was founded by art dealers and collectors Madeleine Chalette Lejwa (1915-1996) and Arthur Lejwa (1895-1972) in February, 1954. The Lejwas were refugees from the Nazi incursions into Poland and France. Initially, their gallery specialized in contemporary French and Polish prints and painting.


Madeleine chalette and arthur lejwa meet in post-war new york

Madeleine Chalette was born in 1915 in Paris, France, and moved with her family to Poland as a child. He served as a representative of the Polish Government in Exile during World War II. His intentions of returning to Poland after the war were crushed when he received word that his entire family had perished in the Nazi gas chambers. He met Chalette soon after her arrival in the United States, and they married in 1947.[1]

Early days at 45 west 57th street

The gallery's early exhibitions in the 1950s were largely thematic.[2] Chalette's pre-war connections and works by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque from the Chalette family collection helped establish the gallery as viable, and set the tone for the gallery's future. The Lejwas were loyal gallerists, who prided themselves on longterm friendships with the artists they represented. These were the friendships that helped their gallery establish itself as a serious contender in the competitive New York art scene, as, in the initial four years of their gallery, they presented new works by Jean Arp,[3] Chagall,[4], Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Henri Matisse and Picasso (Picasso’s sketch of Madeleine from this period is in the collection of the Israel Museum).[5] The Lejwas also had an interest in African art, which comprised a substantial element of their personal collection. In 1956, they arranged for North African artisans to produce limited edition carpet designs by Picasso, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Jean Lurçat as well as several pieces by Fernand Léger. Prices ranged from $700 to $1,100 US, with the most and least expensive designs contributed by Leger.[6]

1100 Madison avenue

The New american constructivists

In 1957 the gallery expanded into new space on Madison Avenue. During this period the Lejwas connected with Josef Albers, then head of the Yale Department of Design in New Haven. Albers, another European war refugee, worked with the Lejwas to expand their stable of contemporary and American artists, including the informal 'Yale Group,' composed of sculptors then active in Albers's department. In 1960, they mounted the major group exhibit, "Construction and Geometry in Painting, from Malevich to “tomorrow,” which included works by Albers, Arp, Max Bill, Sonia Delaunay, César Domela, Victor Vasarely, and others. This exhibition, which subsequently travelled to Cincinnati and San Francisco,[7] was welcomed as a comprehensive approach to the style of constructivist art for which the gallery was becoming celebrated. It was followed by "Structured Sculpture," in the same year, which included works by Norman Carlberg, Kent Bloomer, William Reimann, Erwin Hauer, Stephanie Scuris, Robert Engman, Deborah De Maulpied, all of whom were working at or for Yale (and Albers) at this time. These exhibitions were considered among the most interesting, and thoughtful, presentations of the period. The gallery's practice of publishing its catalogues in a clean, square format, with minimal typeface design, and prefaces that sought to both clarify historical context as well as engage the reader in the process of a living, changeable art.[8]

Geometric painting

The Constructivist Exhibitions had demonstrated the persistance of the Geometric as a vigorous force in American Painting. Gallerie Chalette would continue to showcase these ideas in solo exhibits from Burgoyne Diller (1961)--a coupe for the Lejwas, his first solo show in a decade)[9]--and in a series of shows from Leon Polk Smith, most notably his Constellations exhibition of 1968, which introduced Smith's “Constellation” series, which can be generally regarded as the high point of Smith’s oeuvre.[10]

88th street

Galerie Chalette's final move, to 9 East 88th Street, New York was into the airy ground floor entryhall of a historical five story brownstone, a building just four doors down from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and two blocks away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This proximity was a reflection of the Lejwas's close engagement with both museums' boards. A 1970 reviewer complained, of Wojciech Fangor, that the Polish color-field illusionist, having been given "at least" three one–man shows at Galerie Chalette, seemingly "necessary steps for a one–man exhibition in a New York Museum," was now the subject of a one–man exhibition at the Guggenheim.[11] The gallery's increasingly close relationship with the estate of Jean Arp triggered resentment. The major retrospective of Arp's work at the Met in 1972 was timed to coincide with the Lewja's donation of Arp's work Threshold Installation, which had been installed in a prominent location on the museum's south front.[12]


Arthur died in New York in October of 1972, and was buried in Jerusalem. Madeleine reconfigured the business as 'Chalette International', and continued on as a dealer and consultant as she wound down the exhibition side of the gallery's work. In the final years of Arthur's life, the Lejwas had begun supporting public institutions in Israel from their collection, including numerous large scale sculptures to be displayed in public spaces. Madeleine continued and expanded this work in the years following Arthur's death.

In gratitude to the United States for having offered haven to herself, her father, and Arther during World War II, Madeleine made selective donations to major museums in the United States, most notably Arp's Oriforme to the National Gallery of Art in 1978, dedicated, "To the American People in Gratitude - Leon Chalette, Arthur Lejwa and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa."[13]

On Madeleine's death in 1991, the Galerie Chalette papers were formally lodged at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and the bulk of the Lejwa Collection went to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, which, in 2004, produced a complete catalogue of the Arthur and Madeleine Lejwa Collection, featuring Picasso's image of Madeleine on the cover. There were no family survivors of either the Chalette or Lejwa family. xx administered the estate.

The Galerie Chalette’s distinctive quality was that it represented one stylistic direction, namely geometric abstraction. Theirs was a story of continuous work on behalf of this style of artist, carried out with great commitment and capital investment. They were collectors and gallerists, and these aspects were indissolubly bound together in the case of Hans Arp[14]


Artists represented by, or who exhibited at, the Galerie Chalette[15]

  • Albers, Joseph, (1960)[16]
  • Arp, Jean
  • Bill, Max
  • Derain, Andre, (1957)[17]
  • Diller, Burgoyne, (1964)[18]
  • Engman, Robert
  • Fangor, Wojciech
  • Fuller, Sue
  • González, Roberta
  • González, Julio, (1961)
  • Moholy-Nagy, László
  • Reimann, William
  • Rickey, George
  • Smith, Leon Polk (5 solo exhibits)[19]
  • Vasarely, Victor
  • Weber, Max

Group exhibits

  • Construction and Geometry in Painting, (31 March–4 June 1960)[20]
  • Structured Sculpture, (1960)
  • Structured Sculpture, (1968)[21]

Catalogues, publications

  • Chagall: a selection of paintings from American Museums and private collections. New York: Galerie Chalette, (1958). 31 plates & illustrations [33] pp. Dustjacket over card covers. 17.4 x 17.5 cm.
  • Hepworth. New York: Galerie Chalette, (1959)
  • Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp. New York: Galerie Chalette, (1960). 970 numbered copies. Profusely ill, (part color); 62 pp. 24 x 24 cm.
  • Structured Sculpture: Norman Carlberg, Kent Bloomer, William Reimann, Erwin Hauer, Stephenie Scuris, Robert Engman, Deborah de Maulpied. New York: Galerie Chalette, (1960)
  • Julio Gonzalez. New York: Galerie Chalette, (1961)
  • Fernand Leger: The Figure. New York: Galerie Chalette, (1965). 21 illustrations (6 in color).
  • Structured Sculpture: John Cunningham, Robert Engman, Erwin Hauer, Deborah de Moulpied, William Reimann, Stephanie Scuris, Robert Zeidman. New York: Galerie Chalette, (1968). 21 plates (7 color). [46] pp. Paper covers. 17.8 x 18 cm.

Further reading

  • Apter-Gabriel, Ruth. The Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection in the Israel Museum. The Isreal Museum (2005).
  • Jean Arp: from the collections of Mme. Marguerite Arp and Arthur and Madeleine Lejwa, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1972.


  1. Arthur Lejwa, 77, Biochemist, Dead, (Nov. 27, 1972) The New York Times, Obituaries (1972). Retrieved 2020-3-21
  2. Galerie Chalette records, 1916-1999: Historical Note, Archives of American Art, The Smithsonian, Washington, DC. Retrieved 2020-3-21
  3. Arp, Jean, À mes chérs Lejwas (1960) Collage on paper, 257 x 243 mm. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Accession no. B00.1160. Retrieved 2020-3-21
  4. Chagall, Marc, Pour Madeleine (1952) Crayon and ink on paper, 390 x 305 mm. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Accession no. B00.1129. Retrieved 2020-3-21
  5. Christie's announces selections from the Israel Museum to benefit the acquisitions fund. Art Daily (2018). Retrieved 2020-3-21.
  6. Pepis, Betty, Art Travels From Walls To the Floor; Accent on the Floor, The New York Times, (1956). Retrieved 2020-3-21.
  7. Preston, Stuart, Questions of Meaning: The Opposite Poles Of Modern Art, The New York Times: Arts (1960). Retrieved 2020-3-24.
  8. Perl, Jed (2007). New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century. New York: Vintage Books. p. 318-19. ISBN 1400034655.
  9. Perl, Jed (2007). New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century. New York: Vintage Books. p. 320. ISBN 1400034655.
  10. Sam, Sherman, The Lissom Gallery: Leon Polk Smith, Artforum (2019). Retrieved 2020-3-24.
  11. [ Shirey, David L. Fangor and Color–Field Illusionism, The New York Times, (1970). Retrieved 2020-3-24.
  12. Jean Arp: from the collections of Mme. Marguerite Arp and Arthur and Madeleine Lejwa, (1972) Acknowledments, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. ix. Retrieved 2020-3-24.
  13. Arp, Paul Oriforme (1977) The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Retrieved 2020-3-22.
  14. Hartog, Aria The loyal underdog. Observations on Hans Arp and Galerie Chalette, Gerhard Marcks Haus, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany. Retrieved 2020-3-24.
  15. Galerie Chalette records: Artist's Files, (1916-1996), Archives of American Art, The Smithsonian, Washington, DC
  16. Construction and Geometry in Painting, (1960) The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation: Archive of Past Shows, Group Exhibits. Retreived 2020 3-21.
  17. Dore, Ashton, Derain Drawings; Work by Restless Observer of the Female Figure on View at Galerie Chalette. The New York Times: Art, (1957-05-02). Retrieved 2020-3-21.
  18. Preston, Stuart, Seeing Things, The New York Times: Art, (1964). Retrieved 2020-3-21.
  19. artist-info
  20. Construction and Geometry in Painting, (1960) The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation: Archive of Past Shows, Group Exhibits. Retreived 2020 3-21.
  21. "Structured Sculpture" (1968)Artist-Info

This article "Galerie Chalette" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.