Splendor and Misery in the Weimar Republic. From Otto Dix to Jeanne Mammen

October 27 - February 25, 2018

Social tensions, political struggles, and social upheavals, as well as artistic revolutions and innovations characterize the Weimar Republic. Beginning October 27, 2017, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will be presenting German art from 1918 to 1933 in a major thematic exhibition. Direct, ironic, angry, accusatory, and often even prophetic works demonstrate the struggle for democracy and paint a picture of a society in the midst of crisis and transition. Many artists were moved by the problems of the age to mirror reality and everyday life in their search for a new realism or “naturalism.” They captured the stories of their contemporaries with an individual signature: the processing of World War I with depictions of maimed soldiers and “war profiteers,” public figures, the big city with its entertainment industry and increasing prostitution, the political unrest and economic chasms, as well as the role model of the New Woman, the debates about Articles 175 and 218 (regarding homosexuality and abortion), the social changes resulting from industrialization, and the growing enthusiasm for sports. The exhibition provides an impressive panorama of a period that even today, 100 years after its advent, has lost nothing of its relevance and potential for discussion.

A SOCIETY MIRRORED IN ITS TIMES: THIS FALL, THE SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT WILL BE PRESENTING A MAJOR THEMATIC EXHIBITION ON ART DURING THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC


Splendor and Misery in the German Republic

03.08.2017 | Social tensions, political struggles, and social upheavals, as well as artistic revolutions and innovations characterize the Weimar Republic. Beginning October 27, 2017, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will be presenting German art from 1918 to 1933 in a major thematic exhibition. Direct, ironic, angry, accusatory, and often even prophetic works demonstrate the struggle for democracy and paint a picture of a society in the midst of crisis and transition. Many artists were moved by the problems of the age to mirror reality and everyday life in their search for a new realism or “naturalism.” They captured the stories of their contemporaries with an individual signature: the processing of World War I with depictions of maimed soldiers and “war profiteers,” public figures, the big city with its entertainment industry and increasing prostitution, the political unrest and economic chasms, as well as the role model of the New Woman, the debates about Articles 175 and 218 (regarding homosexuality and abortion), the social changes resulting from industrialization, and the growing enthusiasm for sports. The exhibition provides an impressive panorama of a period that even today, 100 years after its advent, has lost nothing of its relevance and potential for discussion.

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Kate Diehn-Bitt, Self-Portrait with Son (Selbstbildnis mit Sohn), 1933, Oil on plywood, 99 × 74 cm, Kunsthalle Rostock

Otto Dix, Woman with Mink and Veil (Dame mit Schleier und Nerz), 1920, Oil and tempera on canvas mounted on board, 73 × 54.6 cm, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Collection, New York, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

Otto Dix, Pimp and Girl (Zuhälter und Prostituierte), 1923, Brush, India ink and watercolor on tracing paper, 51.4 × 38.1 cm, The Morgan Library & Museum, Bequest of Fred Ebb, 2005.126, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, Photo: Janny Chiu 2015

Dodo, Box Logic (Logenlogik), for the magazine Ulk, 1929, Gouache over pencil on cardboard, 40 × 30 cm, Private collection, Hamburg, © Krümmer Fine Art

Carl Grossberg, White Tanks (Harburg Oil Refinery) (Weiße Tanks [Harburger Ölwerke]), 1930, Oil on canvas, 90 × 70 cm, Olcese Family Collection, © Collection Family Olcese

George Grosz, Street Scene (Kurfürstendamm) (Straßenszene [Kurfürstendamm]), 1925, Oil on canvas, 81.3 × 61.3 cm, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

Kurt Günther, The Radioist (Citizen on the Radio) (Der Radionist [Kleinbürger am Radio]), 1927, Tempera on wood, 55 × 49 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Photo: bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Klaus Göken, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Hainz Hamisch, Pregnant Woman (Schwangere), 1932, Oil on canvas, 76.5 × 46.2 cm, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, bpk | Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig | Bertram Kober (Punctum Leipzig)

Alice Lex-Nerlinger, Paragraph 218, 1931, Spray technique, acrylic on canvas, 95 × 76.5 cm, Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, © Sigrid Nerlinger, Stadtmuseum Berlin, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt, Berlin

Jeanne Mammen, Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch), ca. 1926, Watercolor on paper, 34 × 29 cm, Private collection, Berlin, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, Photo: Mathias Schormann, Berlin

Horst Naumann, Weimar Carnival (Weimarer Fasching), ca. 1928/29, Oil on canvas, 91 × 71 cm, Albertinum/Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, © Estate Naumann, photo: bpk /Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut

Max Oppenheimer, Six-Day Race (Sechstagerennen), ca. 1929, Oil on canvas, 73.5 × 87 cm, Private collection, Fotostudio Bartsch, Karen Bartsch, Berlin

Kurt Querner, Agitator, 1931, Oil on canvas, 160 × 100 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: bpk / Nationalgalerie, SMB / Bernd Kuhnert

Hilde Rakebrand, Self-Portrait with Raised Hands (Selbstbildnis mit erhobenen Händen), 1931, Oil on plywood, 29 × 26 cm, Albertinum/Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden © Joachim Menzhausen, Photo: bpk/Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Franz Radziwill, Karl Buchstätter Falls to His Death (Todessturz Karl Buchstätters), 1928, Oil on canvas, 90.4 × 94.5 cm, Museum Folkwang, Essen, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, Photo: Museum Folkwang Essen - ARTOTHEK

Christian Schad, Seminude (Halbakt), 1929, Oil on canvas, 55.5 × 53.5 cm, Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, Photo: Antje Zeis-Loi, Medienzentrum Wuppertal

Christian Schad, Boys in Love (Liebende Knaben), 1929/72, Lithograph, 30 × 23.5 cm, Christian-Schad-Stiftung Aschaffenburg, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, Photo: Jens Oschik, Museen der Stadt Aschaffenburg

Rudolf Schlichter, Margot, 1924, Oil on canvas, 110.5 × 75 cm, Stadtmuseum Berlin, © Viola Roehr von Alvensleben, München, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt, Berlin

Georg Scholz, Café (Swastika Knight) (Café [Hakenkreuzritter]), 1921, Watercolor, 30 × 49 cm, Merrill C. Berman Collection, New York, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, photo: Galerie Michael Hasenclever

Georg Scholz, Of Things to Come (Von kommenden Dingen), 1922, Oil on cardboard, 74.9 × 96.9 cm, Neue Galerie New York, Photo: bpk / Neue Galerie New York / Art Resource, NY

Against Papen, Hitler, Thälmann: List 2 Social Democrats (Gegen Papen, Hitler, Thälmann: Liste 2 Sozialdemokraten), 1932, SPD/AdsD, poster for the elections to the Reichstag on November 6, 1932, 30 × 21 cm, © SPD / AdsD

Dr. Ingrid Pfeiffer, Curator of the exhibition, © Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2015, photo: Gaby Gerster