Twentieth century german photomontage and naturalism.

Hannah Hoch was raised in a conventional, middle-class, small-town family. She moved to Berlin during World War I to study art and work for a women’s magazine. It was during these years that she became a member οf Berlin Dada. She showed her works regularly with the Dada group but did not establish an international reputation as an artist until after the Dada movement had fallen apart.

Cut With The Kitchen Knife includes more than 150 illustrations οf works Hoch created during 1918-1933, the Weimar years. Hoch assembled her montages by selecting photographs οf women from illustrated print sources and juxtaposing them with fragments οf scenes from Weimar and German colonial society. Readers will be intrigued by the surprising even shocking compositions which combine the pleasure οf viewing mass media images with critical, even destructive feelings about the subject matter. Maud Lavin offers both interpretation and critical analysis οf these montages. (Freud 1955, 145-72)

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Unless you’re very knowledgeable, German art in the twentieth century has been done by men, and German women in the twentieth century have been reduced to the equation Woman=Nature, to child-like whores or to old whores, or the scary, brittle, maneating New German Woman. Masks. What a delight to discover the work οf Hannah Hoch (1889-1978). The Walker Art Center has mounted an exhibition οf her photomontages which will travel from there to the Museum οf Modern Art and to the Los Angeles County Museum οf Art. The Photo-montages οf Hannah Hoch is the catalog for the exhibition.

“Photomontage” (associated with the German word montieren, to assemble or to fit,) was used by the Berlin Dadaists to describe their piecing together οf photographic and typographic sources, usually cut from the printed mass media.


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