Kootz Gallery

The Kootz Gallery was one of the premier art galleries in mid-century New York. Started by art dealer Samuel Kootz in 1944, he supported emerging artists like Motherwell and Baziotes in the late 1940s. A firm believer in Picasso’s genius, he hosted the first post war retrospective in 1947. Kootz championed early abstract expressionists, and reminded the public that Hans Hofmann was producing “drip” paintings as far back as 1940.It is to Kootz’s credit, we have the extraordinary painter, Pierre Soulages, enjoying at the age of 102, a solo retrospective at the Louve this year. As early as 1950, Soulages gained fame in the United States through his close relationship with Samuel Kootz.That led to Soulages being collected by the biggest museums in the US, and exposed him to the New York geniuses of abstract art. The gallery had a keen eye for the future stars of art history.

Background of Samuel Kootz

Samuel Kootz (1898-1982) was originally a law student at the University of Virginia, before moving to New York City in the early 1920s. In 1930 he independently published a textbook entitled Modern American Painters, and in 1934 he became involved with two artists, Stuart Davis and Arthur Dove.

In 1944 Kootz began supporting Robert Motherwell and William Baziotes as well, and opened his gallery in April 1945. Fernand Léger was his first exhibition, but soon Hofmann and Adolph Gottlieb joined his stable.

Kootz & Picasso

After 1947 Kootz was Picasso’s exclusive representative and dealer in the U.S. for years after the war. Throughout the 1950s, the Kootz Gallery continued to champion big names in Abstract Expressionism, from de Kooning to Motherwell, but it also introduced the public to figures like Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler.

Kootz & Soulages

In Europe, Pierre Soulages was recognized as a leader of the abstract movement, but it was Sam Kootz who introduced his work to America. Alongside Rothko, de Kooning and Motherwell, Soulages was the French version of Franz Kline. Soulages is currentlycelebrating his 100th birthday with a solo Exhibition at the Louvre


Kootz Gallery Associates
244 Madison Avenue
Suite 5440
New York, NY 10016