Louis Stern (born January 7, 1945), President of Louis Stern Fine Arts in West Hollywood, California, is a veteran Los Angeles art dealer. Stern specializes in Impressionist and modern works, with an emphasis on west coast hard-edge geometric abstraction.
Louis Stern was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1945, and came to the United States in 1955. He grew up as the oldest son of Frederic Stern, an art dealer who specialized in 19th century French painting. Stern began working in the art business with his father at a young age, and developed expertise in Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern, and Latin-American art before establishing a gallery that focuses on leading West Coast abstractionists of the twentieth century. His two brothers are also active in the art world. George Stern, President of George Stern Fine Arts, specializes in California Impressionism, and Jean Stern is Director of the Irvine Museum in Orange County.
Career and development
After being involved in the art business in London and Paris, Louis Stern founded his first gallery located on Brighton Way in Beverly Hills in 1988. Three years later, in 1991, he relocated to his current location on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood in the heart of the city's Avenue of Art and Design. After reopening at the Melrose location he exhibited Modern and Impressionist work including solo shows for Matisse, Picasso, Leger, Villon, Kupka and other important artists. He has acquired and placed works by the most renowned artists of the late 19th and 20th centuries including Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Cassatt, Degas, Van Gogh, Braque, Chagall, Modigliani, Giacometti, de Kooning, Dubuffet, Francis and Warhol.
Over time he expanded his specialties to include Latin American Art (eventually founding the Alfredo Ramos Martinez Research Project). His advocacy for the little known Ramos Martinez though an exhibition of the Mexican master in 1991, perpetuated a major retrospective at the Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City in 1992.
While Stern continues to be active in the secondary market, his gallery is highly focused on west coast hard-edge geometric abstraction (representing the estates of Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Helen Lundeberg, and June Harwood).
Involvement and awards
Louis Stern has served on the Board of Directors of the Fine Art Dealers Association (FADA); the Art Dealers Association of California, Vice-President 1990-1991; International Foundation for Art Research, New York; Archives of American Art (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; and a founding member of the Photographic Arts Council at LACMA. He is also on the advisory board of Gallery 825/Los Angeles Art Association and is listed in Who's Who In America Art. He has advised numerous groups and assemblies regarding buying, selling and collecting important Impressionist and Modern works of art. In 2001, he was made a Chevalier in the Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture, and In 2007, he was made a Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur by the French President. Stern has also participated in the IRS Commissioner's Art Advisory Panel.
Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur
On December 16, 2007, Louis Stern was presented with France's highest decoration, the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur ("Knight of the Legion of Honor") by Pierre Vimont, French Ambassador to the United States, on behalf of the President of France. Created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, it is awarded for gallantry in military action or civilian life for work that enhances the reputation of France through scholarship, arts, sciences and politics.
The Government of France recognized Stern for his efforts to further the knowledge and appreciation of French culture and French artists with his gallery program and his numerous French/American civic affiliations.
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- "The Art Advisory Panel of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue Annual Summary Report for Fiscal Year 2015" (PDF). Internal Revenue Service.
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- "Esteemed Fine Art Dealer Louis Stern Honored With the French Decoration of Chevalier de la Legion D'Honneur". wdrb.com. 16 January 2008.