"Hope or Menace? Communism in Germany Between the World Wars" Exhibition

Galerie St. Etienne

poster for "Hope or Menace? Communism in Germany Between the World Wars" Exhibition

This event has ended.

In the years between the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in November 1918 and Adolf Hitler's ascension to power in January 1933, Germany became a battleground for the most volatile ideologies of the twentieth century. In this turbulent atmosphere, the aesthetic experiments of the prewar Expressionists seemed narcissistically self-indulgent. The early Weimar era was the only period in the history of modern art in which most leading members of the avant-garde sought to engage directly with the broader community. They documented contemporary society in furtherance of a pointed political agenda, believing that the act of bearing witness would inspire constructive change. To this end, they sought to circumvent the conventional means of making and distributing art. Painting was far too bourgeois, too precious, too viscerally marked by the artist's ego. Printmaking, photography and photomechanical reproduction all offered the possibility of reaching a large and ostensibly proletarian audience with inexpensive multiples. The newer techniques, such as photo-montage, also had the advantage of minimizing any traces of the artist's personal touch.

[Image: Anonymous "Attention! The Red Soviet Pilots are Coming" (1928) Lithograph in two colors on beige wove paper 15 7/8 x 11 1/4 inches. Courtesy of The Merrill C. Berman Collection]



from March 25, 2008 to June 13, 2008

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