> Sarah McFadden Editor for Art in America
“Over the past four years Serge Strosberg has developed a body of work which, as I see it, suggests the beginnings of a contemporary comedie humaine. The recent paintings – many of them diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs – toe a fine line between portraiture and allegory. More precisely, they seem to employ portraiture as a vehicle for allegory. In doing so they remind us that the distinct and particular partake of the shared and universal, that each of us is unique and that all of us are human.
Timeless, the paintings are carefully composed and earnestly rendered in the grand studio tradition which prizes formal virtuosity and chromatic savvy. The models’ constructed poses convey narrative content, spell out interpersonal dramas, project emotional and psychological states or bring forth the subjects’ or artist’s fantasies. Just as in the Renaissance, a flexed toe speaks volumes, and a wide expanse of mustard-yellow drapery rivets the eye.
Timely, the works grapple with the fallacy of the unitary subject. Strosberg portrays the same individual in multiple guises across a series of works that, we imagine, could continue indefinitely without ever mounting up to the whole picture of a single self. Having made his point, the artist forges ahead not, it appears, to collect uncapturable souls, but rather to evoke an era – his own. His models both pose as and are among its victims and beneficiaries, toilers and survivors. Most of them are of his generation, and into the suspended time of the studio they breathe the spirit of the age. It’s in the cut of their collars, their sweatpants and underclothes, body piercings, hairstyles, sunglasses, and in the TV remote control held in the hand of a bored lover.
Bored lovers have been around for centuries, of course. What’s new is the way in which they manifest their malaise. Strosberg weaves such signs of our fast-changing times into an enduring representational idiom whose history testifies as much to the constancy of the human passions as it does to the inexorable flux of society. Long may his distinctly 21st-century comedie continue ! ”
Stephen Rosenberg 2010
“Stephen Rosenberg is a long time New York art dealer, educator, working in primary and secondary market, in fine art appraisals.”
Born in Antwerp, Serge Strosberg spent his childhood in Belgium and the United States, and received his formal and extensive art education in Paris at Academie Julian and Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Striving to enhance his knowledge, Strosberg went on to study privately with Joerg Hermle, a highly respected German Expressionist artist and professor, who taught him the ancient and difficult technique of painting with oil and egg tempera.
After several successful exhibitions in France, Belgium and the United States of compelling figurative paintings and portraits of people he found of interest, Strosberg relocated to New York in 2007 for the personal challenges and dreams that have always drawn people – particularly artists – to this city.
Strosberg describes himself as “an expressionist, like the Germans but more humanistic and a compassionate observer of the nightlife…” The New York nightlife that Strosberg has been observing and which informs some of his recent work takes place in underground clubs that don’t come alive until 2AM and are populated by straights and gays of all stripes including socialites, transvestites, exotically clothed amazons and transsexuals. Like many artists before him, particularly those of the London School, Strosberg’s practice also includes inviting people he meets during his forays to sit for him as studio models.
Strosberg’s use of this aspect of the human drama as subject matter for his work, places him in the venerable European tradition of physically and psychologically representing “the other” in paintings, drawings and prints. In this context, “other” means anyone either outside of or at the margins of ‘normal’ society. Rembrandt’s early etchings of tramps, war veterans and orphans come to mind, as do Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings and lithographs of the performers and denizens of Montmartre’s legendary nightclubs and dance halls during the fin-de-siecle. The paintings of Chaim Soutine (a major influence on Strosberg) during the late 1920’s of uniformed pastry cooks, doormen, hotel and nightclub employees in Paris certainly fall within this genre. Among contemporary artists there is no better example of this approach to expressionistic portraiture than Lucian Freud’s intimate and extraordinary paintings of Leigh Bowery from the early 1990’s. In his introduction, to the volume “Lucian Freud” (Random House, 1996), Bruce Bernard notes that in the 1940’s, “He (Freud) seems to take the view that homosexuality in human beings extends the scope of the collective human imagination, and that a positive understanding of the ‘queer sensibility’ is essential to people involved in art, even when they are not disposed that way in any emotional or erotic sense”.
By substituting “underground sensibility’, a phrase that is culturally appropriate and accurately reflects life in early 21st century New York, for ‘queer sensibility’, we better understand Strosberg’s quest in challenging his talent and intellect by enlarging his field of vision and making art that is more intimate and which has human emotion at its core. The remarkable paintings, portraits and drawings Strosberg creates using models bear witness to the fact that his artistic skills are more than equal to his emotional and psychological depth as a humanistic expressionist.
While many of Strosberg’s models are habitués of New York’s nightlife, the fact is that most of his paintings are of beautiful young women, female amazons – fashion icons fearless in their stiletto heels and stunning dresses. These are neither the obese women of Freud nor are they the bourgeois women or the uniformed female domestic servants of Soutine. Strosberg is able to capture the bravura of these young women while also revealing the unspoken tension between their appearance and their underlying thoughts and feelings.
My preference has always been for artists who continually hone their talent and take risks, who do not become formulaic regardless of commercial success, and who, as Roberta Smith of The New York Times recently pined for, actually make things with their hands. Given his unique combination of talent, enthusiasm, sophistication, and fascination for his new surroundings, my suggestion is that we pay close attention to Serge Strosberg.
> Lauren Kelly Goldstein, jr critic
Five stories above the streets of soho, a neighborhood never short on chic glamour, hangs Serge Strosberg’s “Dorian Gray Syndrome”. The announcement defines the collection as “paintings of New York and Paris socialites”, and at
first glance most of them seem just that flat. But this is Diane Arbus in reverse: instead of offering a glimpse into the world of the marginalized and scorned, most of Mr. Strosberg’s subjects are society’s most glorified. They appear to inspire envy, but therein lies their freakishness. An extremely thin girl with the tell-tale bulging neck of an anorexic. A posh woman at the bar with a hint of pain in her eyes… infidelity and a failed marriage? A chic redhead completely cool but for her masochistic looking sidekick: is this her lover or an inner demon? It is these characters’ subtle pain and obscured freakishness that brings them into dimension. But the obvious struggle to ignore their pain and uphold their perfect position remains. Exiting the chic crowd, it’s hard to miss the point: even the most enviable seemed to have a sad secret.
> Christopher Koulouris, Editor for Scallywag and Vagabond magazine
“Serge Strosberg; the Dorian Gray syndrome.”
What is in an identity? How does one prevail? How does one negotiate their outward appearance and the gnarling contradictory feelings that come along with being. In his role as spectator, sympathizer, provocateur Belgian born painter Serge Strosberg takes on the heady task of juxtaposing darkness, lightness, glee, gluttony, vanity, vulnerability, self adulation, and self dislocation. Perhaps as a pertinent parable to today’s times SCV recently took umbrage with Mr. Strosberg and dared to ask him the questions that he dares to ask us.
SCV; In all your work there is the ever present feeling that the subject is trying to negotiate their outside world and the one inside their head. Why is that a consistent theme of your work?
Serge Strosberg; Because people are complex, they never seem to be so often who they appear to be to us on the outside. I think what often goes on is in order to define who people think they are, they so often take on the role that they think other people expect them to be. So for me a tall, statuesque beauty may present that image, but once I start painting them, I so often find the antithesis.
SCV; Why is that?
Serge Strosberg; I think on a certain level people are paralyzed by the culture at large. They feel obliged to perform to expectations, to emulate role models we come across in the movies, the magazines, the tabloids. So what happens a lot of people end up acting, behaving in a way that’s organically counter intuitive to their constitution. But because they are told they look like some sort of icon they feel obliged to take on these roles.
SCV; In some of the press you have received in Europe you go for the concept of the socialite. Why is that?
Serge Strosberg; It’s very interesting you mention that. I only just moved to New York this past March, and I truly have to say that until I came here I had never heard of the word socialite or rather quite understood it’s veracity in affecting human behavior. It was very interesting for me, my first publicist here in NYC would always claim how proud they were to be a socialite, and this intrigued me as so far it alluded to the concept of ‘role model.’
As I have spent more time here in NYC I have come to understand that in so many ways it is vital if one is to survive here that one is obliged to give off a particular brand of posturing. Everyone here is hyper cool, on the go, just about to become a huge hit, parties with the right people, is seen at the right places, is seen holding the right pose.
SCV; Is it true this has affected the way you portray yourself to society?
Serge Strosberg; I would be lying if I said other wise. But I think working through my work serves to act as a kind of catharsis. By revealing my subjects vulnerability I’m also reckoning with my own.
SCV; What inspired you to set up shop here in NYC?
Serge Strosberg; I like to regard myself as a very cosmopolitan person. And I think as much as I adore Paris, where I have been based amongst other European cities, Brussels, London, I think that Europe lacks the stimulation that ultimately I am looking for, the unnerving that I want to reflect in my subjects. Europe for me has become a very pretty museum, where one still lives in past glories and prized artifacts. I think one is free to be who they choose to be here in NYC, or at least more free in other staid cultures. You want to walk around in pajamas, scream at the top of your lungs about your preferred god. That’s okay, nobody seems to mind here, if anything it’s encouraged.
I also like the density here. I can look out my window here on Broadway and see a whole world passing underneath my fire escape.
SCV; One of your favorite themes is the ‘Dorian Gray syndrome.’ Please explain.
Serge Strosberg; In Oscar Wilde’s novel of the same name, the protagonist is consumed with his apparent beauty, and the way he looks to other people, but as time goes on, the reader begins to realize that the protagonist is anything but beautiful, if anything he has become very ugly, especially to himself. This duplicity of being interests me very much, the double life we so often play for ourselves and the outside world and how over time that tears at one’s soul.
SCV; How does this translate in your work?
Serge Strosberg; Initially when I set up my subject to pose I am very much drawn to their physique, their apparent beauty, but as time and sessions go on I find the subject beginning to reveal over time gives way to his insecurities, or his feminine tendencies, despite his very masculine physical tendencies.
It really amazes me, because you would think people who look like this don’t ever get to feel this way, but in a way they probably feel more so than other people. It is this apparent contradiction that very much interests me.
SCV; On what level does this feed on the artist’s own self perception?
Serge Strosberg; Very much. I think when people meet me they think I am just this very nice looking boy who is very well behaved, but nothing could be further from the truth.
SCV; Could you be so kind to disclose to our readers how so?
Serge Strosberg; I think one has to play close attention to the work.
SCV; Chic….. Who are some of your influences?
Serge Strosberg; All the great soul searchers. Soutine, Lucien Freud, Balthaus, Rembrandt. I also like the German expressionist Egon Schiele, the distorted faces, I love them very much, and Rembrandt going for the kill, exposing the psychology of being.
SCV; Would you then regard yourself as an expressionist?
Serge Strosberg; A realistic expressionist. Ultimately I am very much interested in the subject, not the surrounding decor, their soul, not what they necessarily appear to be to us.
SCV; Tell me about your outfit. It looks like a butchers.
Serge Strosberg; It’s funny, it’s an old shirt worn by surgeons way back. But yes, you are correct, I am a kind of butcher, a surgeon, tearing away, looking for the heart.
SCV; Can one repair the heart?
Serge Strosberg; I am often surprised by the way my subjects react to my painting of them. It’s kind of a relief for them, to be exposed in some way, and I think this has a lot to say how people who see my work relate to it as well.
SCV; Can you tell us about some of your upcoming shows.
Serge Strosberg; In December I’m participating in a very important group show, it’s a ten year retrospective showing at the ‘Felix Nussbaum’ built by Daniel Liebeskindt( the architect slated to design the new world trade center) in Berlin, Germany.
They will be presenting the work of Lucien Freud, Mark Rothko, Modigliani. I will be exhibiting a piece called ‘Genealogy,‘ seven self portraits of my family tree, which is five hundred years old, a mixture of Dutch, Portugese, Marrano Jewish heritage.
SCV; How has your heritage affected your work?
Serge Strosberg; Of course as a Jew, our faith forces us to question ones identity. Also as a Jew, I am interested in other minority groups, who might have experienced discrimination; gays, blacks, drag queens, foreigners.
SCV; Where else?
Serge Strosberg; Also in Palm Beach, Florida, in three contemporary art fairs, as well at the ‘Ann Norton Sculpture Garden’ in Palm beach next March.
SCV; How has the public received your work?
Serge Strosberg; I’ve been quite humbled. This year I’ve had three museum shows, and over the last three years I have been able to sell a lot of my work.
SCV; How do you think now that you have just arrived here in NYC your work will be received?
Serge Strosberg; I think i am doing my best work here, and the inspiration is following, so I think it will be a very good transition.
SCV; Finally, what makes you a scallywag?
Serge Strosberg; Because I discreetly push the boundaries, reveal the subject to himself, his society, and by doing that, revealing your secrets I am a scallywag.
> Jean-Louis POITEVIN, Writer and art critic
The intimate genesis of the body
(Notes on the painting of Serge Strosberg)
Painting versus photography
The work of Serge Strosberg shows that he is not at all unaware of the pitfalls of today’s photographic images. On the contrary, he consciously requires his models to hold a pose for hours. During these long moments of onfrontation fired with mystery, he speaks to them, gets to know them intimately and leads them to live an inner experience that is sometimes tempestuous but always intense. The artist responds to this tension with a gesture that is entirely his own. Through his painting, he tries to represent that which, from the unknown part of the body that the model offers up, has risen to the surface of the face, the muscles, the postures, the glances. Through painting, he will bring about a synthesis of the inner world of the person before him.
Serge Strosberg tells us, with the precision of a prophet, that painting is a lasting experience. It obliges the body to let itself be taken over by a kind of ecstasy. Abandoning self-control, the model offers the artist the opportunity of giving this moment of forgetfulness the precise form of a range of experiences. In this sense, these gestures, that of the model’s self-sacrifice and that of the artist’s hand, in redoubling their mystery, are an emphatic refutation of photography. The photograph, the one we take in trying, for example, to capture another’s image, to make a portrait, turns fleeting instants into objects and only exists through slicing up time. Conversely, having taken on a form, the photograph plunges the observer into an infinitely circular journey. In fact, in a photograph, it is always something of ourselves that we look for, whereas in a painting, there is always another to be discovered.
The photograph ensnares us in the trap of recognition. The eye seeks to identify whoever or whatever is to be found there. But the eye can never get enough. It wants to move on at once to the next image. Painting, particularly that of Serge Strosberg, offers a unique experience. Once the few seconds have passed in which the eye recognizes what the painting depicts, the brain begins to work. Recognition does not trap us to no avail but establishes itself as the start of something. After so many decades during which the end of storytelling and the refusal of any narrative has been lauded in contemporary art, we understand that what was going on here was a kind of mimicry of photography. This flight from the story to embrace the fleeting moment however carried it into the reflexive dimension of all artistic experience.
Emotion and duration
For Serge Strosberg, painting is the road you take within yourself through another, until you spiritually embrace all that lives and moves in them. Looking at his work, you must cover the same ground and also set off on a voyage of discovery of the unknown person in front of you. The experience of painting, for artist, model or viewer, is a spiritual one in the sense that it leads each of them to immerse themselves in familiar things to experience their dispossession. At the height of this immersion, an emotion fills them and returns them to themselves. Serge Strosberg’s painting tries to capture such an emotion. But emotion, the moment when we and the world coalesce, is a plunge into the mysteries of the body, our own and that of the other, and in this sense painting is a profoundly sensual experience.
It is moreover accompanied by an intellectual experience in that it inscribes the work in a time frame. This duration alone allows the spirit to fully accomplish the journey that leads from the sigh of the flesh to the burst of reason, from the shining tremors of misty-eyed doubt to rhetorical questions on the profundities of being. This time frame brings history into the abstract space of the painting. No need for decor or artificial scenesetting. It is through the interplay of the pictural elements, simple forms, deep colors but few of them, unprepossessing poses trembling with ambiguity and a magisterial treatment of space, that the present time of the pose is imbued with history before our eyes. We can see time expanding in the picture like an enigmatic flower. In these works, the vitality of today marries with the mysteries of the past and burns to announce to the future that it can make its entrance.
Expression and truth
The gaze of the characters in Serge Strosberg’s comedie humaine is not fixed on us, but elsewhere, perhaps into their innermost being, or nowhere at all. In letting themselves go in this way, they allow the echoes of their inner truths to rise to the surface of their faces, or to show in the twists and turns of their bodies, in the strange angles they make with the sofa, the table or the bed where they are disposed.
In truth, their undeniable presence on the canvas is coupled with a withdrawal into themselves, as if exposing their intimacy was only possible through professing a deeper delicacy. The art of Serge Strosberg is thus above all an art of the appropriate distance that no camera focus would be able to achieve. What is happening in his pictures is the fruit of a perfectly mastered technique, particularly evident in the colors prepared by the former chemist that he is, but especially in the sure hand of his compositions. Almost always, the body portrayed is set on a base, whether bed, sofa, chair or table, conferring on the picture an undeniable sculptural quality. This base determines the space which receives and gathers in the body of the model. Set against this space there is often a background that sometimes covers the remainder of the canvas. This background plays the part of a kind of cosmos in which, if it had not found its’ place, the body would be at risk of vanishing. The background also embodies that inaccessible gulf, that distant inner world, which haunts the subjects and into which only their gaze dares penetrate. In strong, sometimes brash colors, this distance we understand to bear traces of unfulfilled dreams.
The bed, the sofa or the table play another part. Counterpart to the body, they form the surface on which it rests, but also the form that welcomes and protects it while allowing it to show itself off. In other words, this base is the matrix of the painted body. And it does not state the remote but the intimate. Thus these two essential elements in the compositions of Serge Strosberg serve to reinforce what is most important to him: the expression through the body itself, and especially the face, of the dramatic intensity of the effects that possess the models during their long pose together with those that have shaped their lives. These bodies are syntheses of these indescribable and pregnant states of being, and therein lies their great expressive power. Of our time, like the models, we are like them a composite of stardust, unfinished dreams and doubts, but also of passions all too often restrained.
Bodies and history
The stance taken by Serge Strosberg is to confront bodies with history. To do so, he submits them to the distorting power of time, the duration of the pose, of effects, of thoughts. In choosing figurative painting, he takes his place within a family of artists with vast and complex branches. Wishing to depict the modern identity in its very multiplicity, he is rooted in his own time. Choosing to paint individuals with multiple but always assertive identities, Serge Strosberg does not however choose to immerse himself in the torments of the flesh but rather to show how a body holds up over time, or how it faces up to history.
There where a Frank Auerbach traces, with brusque brushstrokes, the limits of the body and relates them to the limits of perception, there where a Jenny Saville blasts a hole in time using the bodies that she paints as visual bombs exploding at the surface of the eye, Serge Strosberg responds through his work’s concentration on the way in which a body expresses how it has been traversed by history and the infinite range of emotions.
Lucian Freud, for his part, sought to take account of the paradox of the flesh which is endlessly roused by its immemorial desire to tip over onto the other side, and struggle not to be dragged down into the void. He acknowledges the continual struggle that takes place in every being, between this longing for the void and this combat that surrenders the flesh to the crumpled chaos of raw matter.
Serge Strosberg has chosen to take account of a wider conflict between the historicity of individuals and their intimate and cosmic aspirations. What he depicts is thus in this sense less the flesh, that incontrollable magma that must always seek outside itself the principle of its rectitude, than the body, that package of nerves connected to time that holds within itself the affirmation of its ambiguity. For this reason, in his canvases, the intimate abysses of the individual resonate with the beating of the secret drums of history. His interest in each individual pushes him to try to capture the maximum emotive power of the model without recourse to pictorial artifice, to unlikely poses or brusque gestures. In concentrating on a dense and compact look, he offers a view of the vastness of the other.
Here, the individual is raised by the painting towards the power of affirmation and faces the cosmic vastness that resonates within. As each body belongs to a precise moment in history, he conjugates the aspects of identity with the curves and folds of time. It is especially through the groups of pictures devoted to the same model, which are presented as a type of installation, that Serge Strosberg succeeds in making us responsive to them. And that is what all great paintings seek to achieve.
> Florent Bex Honorary Director of MUIHKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium.
“The works of art that intrigue us most are those that raise more questions than they provide answers. Serge Strosberg’s paintings belong to this category. At first glance, we wonder why he wants to paint portraits. A rather secondary genre in contemporary painting, somehow superseded by photography. Yet, the artist made a conscious thematic choice several years ago and one must specify upfront that, with few exceptions, Strosberg’s portraits are not commissioned. This new series of portraits carried out during long sequences of sittings since 2002, features several modern women. The work takes shape as soon as the artist chooses his particular model. In what way does he subsequently influence the attitude of the sitter, her nudity or modesty? In order to make this collaboration work there has to be a tacit agreement between the model and the artist. What a strange situation, where someone with no apprehension exposes herself to the scrutiny of another, while in no way leaving herself completely naked. What curious complicity is at work?
All these women look the viewer straight in the eyes, sometimes sadly, sometimes pertinently, as if to say ‘look at me but don’t expect to read my thoughts’. The male models, on the other hand, seem to avoid looking directly into the eye. They appear preoccupied, inward-looking.
It seems to me that through these portraits Serge Strosberg makes an attempt to capture a silent testimony of the human condition. Complexity and uncertainty govern daily life. The individual, searching for identity, tries to develop a self-image in other people’s eyes. Behaviour is partly determined, sometimes unwillingly, by changes in society. Don’t we play a more or less conscious role through social interactions aimed at representing the idea that we have about ourselves. We protect ourselves through a mask, assuming a role that could easily become second nature.
The model intentionally presents an expression, but ultimately the artist is the interpreter. Never having seen the models, I could not say if Strosberg’s paintings are faithful representations, yet it seems to me that he captures in each face an essential feature of the model’s personality and soul. It is impossible to view these canvases without being intrigued by the eyes that follow and defy you, by these provocative attitudes.
The paintings are ‘staged’ for installation in groups, introducing juxtapositions, opposing knowledge and innocence, dreams and eroticism. There is mystery about the artist’s intentions. He seems to belong to the Western studio tradition of painting the female figure, especially the nude. Or is he in fact questioning the metaphorical image of women by attributing them equivocal interpretations? Or is it simply the gaze of the male, for whom ‘the mystery of women’ remains complete? Do his painted portraits offer more than photographs? Are they more accessible to the viewer?
These representations essentially reveal the true art of painting. From a distance they look almost real but as you get closer, the pictorial dimension grows stronger. Close up, the illusion dissolves into matter. Vivid colours offer a detailed reading of the creative path. Serge Strosberg guides our steps into the astonishing and inexhaustible visual world, while drawing our attention to the fact that images are not real and perception is not infallibl
> Marcel Dargols (Colombes)
“These portraits remind me of characters from a Chekov play.”
> Elsa Rosilio, writer (Paris)
“Strength, power and talent !”
> Jocelyne (Paris XVII)
“Thank you for these portraits which will leave a trace of our time.”
> Sarah Mc Fadden, Editor of “Art in America”
“Since the mapping of the human genome, Serge Strosberg’s painted portraits appear more pertinent than ever. The closer we come to cracking our biological code, the more we realize how far we are from penetrating the mystery of what makes each of us uniquely human. This enigma is Strosberg’s subject.
Rather than attempting to solve the puzzle, he underlines its richness and complexity by examining individual pieces — people in his immediate orbit. Usually portrayed alone and in spare interior settings, Strosberg’s models seem like a random sampling of humanity. Each strikes a pose that defines her or him within the quiet space and frozen time of the painting. Thus each painting evokes a momentary truth. Philosophically speaking, that is perhaps all we can ever know.
Pride and melancholy, lassitude and concentration, tension, forthrightness, reserve and vulnerability are plainly seen in facial expressions and body language. Trust is evident, as well, particularly in the portraits of male sitters shown stripped to the waist. Shirtless, they seem to have bared not just their imperfect torsos, but also their souls. Drama is limited to passages of brilliant color and the intensity of the subjects’ gaze. These psychological portraits remind us that there is really no such thing as ordinary folk, despite all we have in common.
Selective BIBLIOGRAPHY and excerpts
Aydlette Larry. Review of Strosberg solo exhibit Of Men and Flowers at the Norton Sculpture Gardens, West Palm Beach.
“He paints in a brilliant array of warm, vivid colors. His brushwork is marvelous, especially the reddened skin on the faces and naked bodies and the feeling of solidity and shadow in his human figures.”
Bex, Florent. Strosberg. Solo exhibit at the French Senate, July-August 2006, Paris. Catalogue in English and French, 32 pp, 26 ill., foreword. “It seems to me that through these portraits, Strosberg captures a silent testimony of the human condition.”
Davis Sonya. Interview on Strosberg solo exhibit at the Lighthouse Center for the Arts, Sun-Sentinel, Florida, January 17, 2007, p. 15. “His art is representative of the diversification of our community… It’s an important message…”
Deppner, Martin Roman. The Hidden Trace. Jewish paths through modernity, Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Germany Bramsche, Rasch Verlag. 2008. Exhibit catalogue in German and English, images pp. 201, text p. 244. “Strosberg’s work is about the complex identity of each individual, about human emotions at large, regardless of religion, race or nationality.”
Gauthier-Paul. Review of the group exhibit Humanisme et Expressionisme, Sortir a Paris, April-May 2008, p. 10. “This exhibition explores a common cultural heritage through works by a dozen of contemporary artists that include Lucian Freud and Serge Strosberg, using a wide diversity of techniques with however a central common theme, the human figure,.”
Engoren, Jan. Sins and the city, essay on Strosberg as new artist-resident of Soho Chelsea Now, March 14-20, 2008. New York NY. Text and color illustrations, p. 2l.
“If portraiture captures not only the person but also the era, Strosberg has illustrated modern life in all its guises.”
_________: Portrait of the artist as a young man. Preview of Strosberg solo exhibit for the inauguration of Alliance Francaise, Miami, Art of the Times: The magazine of the arts in South Florida, vol. 12, 2006, Text and color illustrations, pp. 44-47.
“Strosberg’s exhibition will take the viewer on a visual emotional, and spiritual journey of discovery into the psyche and soul of another human being.”
_________: The Jewish Journal, Dade County, October 2, 2007, p. 6.
“Strosberg’s main subject matter may not seem specifically Jewish, however, focusing on the human figure belongs to a tradition of Jewish humanist painters, such as Modigliani and Lucian Freud.”
_________: Of Men and Flowers. Review of Strosberg solo exhibit at the Norton Sculpture Garden, Art of the Times:The magazine of the arts in South Florida, spring issue, 2009, West Palm Beach FL. Text and color illustrations pp. 12-13.
“He juxtaposes the concepts of masculinity and femininity, strength and fragility, artifice and sincerity, optimism and cynicism, happiness and unhappiness, the timelessness of eternity and the fleetingness of the moment.”
Entbrouxk, Fred, Gemeentebestuur Boechout: Jan Cockx Prize 2001. 3 color illustrations.
Isles, Brigitte des. Humanisme et expressionnisme. Arts actualites magazine, May-June 2008, Paris, pp. 81-84. Review of exhibit at Musee Tavet-Delacour ending with special notice of Strosberg, p. 84.
“Serge Strosberg immortalizes the attitude of an embracing couple in Tenderness (2007). Far from cold modernism, his singular portrait The Human Condition (2007) is both a temporal and a timeless image of a human being facing the big void.”
Koulouris, Christopher, scallywagandvagabond.com, Strosberg interview 2008.
“Belgian painter Strosberg takes on the heady task of juxtaposing darkness, lightness, glee, gluttony, vanity, vulnerability, self adulation, and self-dislocation perhaps as a pertinent parable of today’s times.”
Mc Fadden, Sarah. Serge Strosberg. Catalogue of Strosberg solo exhibit at City Hall 1, Paris, 2001, 24p, 22 color ill, Introduction.
“His portraits remind us that the distant and particular partake of the shared and universal, that each of us is unique and that all of us are human.”
____________: Strosberg. Solo exhibit at the French Senate, 2006, Paris. Catalogue in English and French, 32 pp. 26 ills. Cover essay.
“Timeless… the paintings are rendered in the grand studio tradition…Timely, the works grapple with the fallacy of the unitary subject.”
Poitevin, Jean-Louis. Strosberg. Solo exhibit at the French Senate, July-August 2006, Paris. Catalogue in English and French, 32 pp, 26 ill, 3 pp. Essay.
“Choosing to paint individuals with multiple and assertive personalities Strosberg does not immerse in the torments of the decaying flesh but he rather chooses to show how a body holds up over time… and how it faces history.”
Polla, Barbara. Serge Strosberg. Catalogue of solo exhibit at City Hall 1, Paris, 2001, 24 pp., 22 color ills. Introduction.
“He expresses with precision and imagination at the same time, what The Other experiences in strength, pride, pain and reality.”
Rogers, David. Strosberg. Review of solo exhibit, Palm Beach Post, January 6, 2007, pp. 1, 6.
“Art can be a humanizing force…”
Strosberg, Eliane. Human Expressionism: the human figure and the Jewish experience. Paris, ills pp. 23, 160, 161, text p. 190, Exhibit catalogue, French and English, Somogy, 2008.
_____________: The Human Figure in the Jewish Culture, In press, Abbeville Inc., 2010. Text pp. 201, 202, ills pp. 31, 167.
Walesh, Wendy, Serge Strosberg and Ernesto Trova, review of the exhibit at the Elaine Baker Gallery, Boca Times, April 11, 2007.
“Strosberg [who purchases his pigments in Italy and mixes his own colors] learned the Old Masters’ techniques that the Flemish painters used… We watched him put the finishing touches on one of his paintings in the show and in the process we became enthusiastic fans.”
Waligora, Charlotte. Expressionnisme et néo-humanisme, group exhibit in Pontoise, Musee Tavet-Delacour. Azart: le magazine international de la peinture. May-June 2008, Paris, pp. 116-121.
“The contemporary section of the exhibition, represented amongst others by Lucian Freud, Ra’anan Levy or Serge Strosberg, has the power to suggest the continuity of a genre, and a major artistic preoccupation of our era.”
Zaragovia, Veronica: Shalom today January 17, 2007. Sun-Sentinel FL. Full cover color illustration, and essay on Strosberg’s exhibits pp. 3, 5, 15.