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Max Klinger

Max Klinger:  painter, sculptor

Max Klinger (18 February 1857 – 5 July 1920) was a German symbolist painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer.


Klinger was born in Leipzig and studied in the beautiful and inspirational city of Karlsruhe, Germany. An admirer of the etchings of Menzel and Goya, he shortly became a skilled and imaginative engraver in his own right. He began creating sculptures in the early 1880s. From 1883–1893 he lived in Rome, and became increasingly influenced by the Italian Renaissance and antiquity.

"The Judgement of Paris," 1886-87
“The Judgement of Paris,” 1886-87

His best known work is a series of ten etchings entitled Paraphrase on the Finding of a Glove (printed 1881). These pictures were based on images which came to Klinger in dreams after finding a glove at an ice-skating rink. In the leitmotivic device of a glove—belonging to a woman whose face we never see—Klinger anticipated the research of Freud and Krafft-Ebing on fetish objects. (see slideshow below for all ten plates)


In this case, the glove becomes a symbol for the artist’s romantic yearnings, finding itself, in each plate, in different dramatic situations, and performing the role that we might expect the figure of the beloved herself to fulfill. Semioticians have also seen in the symbol of the glove an example of a sliding signifier, or signifier without signified—in this case, the identity of the woman which Klinger is careful to conceal. The plates suggest various psychological states or existential crises faced by the artist protagonist (who bears a striking resemblance to the young Klinger).

"Bust of Elsa Asenijeff," c. 1900
“Bust of Elsa Asenijeff,” c. 1900
Klinger’s model, Elsa Asenijeff, c. 1897

Klinger traveled extensively around the art centers of Europe for years before returning to Leipzig in 1893. From 1897 he mostly concentrated on sculpture; his marble statue of Beethoven was an integral part of the Vienna Secession exhibit of 1902.

“Statue of Beethoven,” 1902

Klinger was cited by many artists (notably Giorgio de Chirico) as being a major link between the symbolist movement of the 19th century and the start of the metaphysical and Surrealist movements of the 20th century. Asteroid 22369 Klinger is named in his honor.

Elsa Asenijeff, 1896
“The Great Goddess,” 1916
“Adam, Opus III”
“Amor, Tod, und Jenseits (Love, Death, and Beyond)”

In Elsa Bernstein’s naturalist play Dämmerung, Klinger is mentioned in the third act when Carl talks of being able to afford “etchings by Klinger” for 80 francs.
Inspection Medical Hermeneutics, an infamous Moscow art collective, based their 1991 installation Klinger’s Boxes, on an idea inspired by Klinger’s Paraphrase on the Finding of a Glove.

From “Klinger’s Boxes,” this is “Cold Reduction” 1991

Edited from:


Max Klinger

 


Digital collage portrait by TMLipp
Created for The Artist Birthday Series,
February 18, 2017

(click image for full resolution)

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Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter (born 9 February 1932) is a German visual artist. Richter has produced abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and glass pieces. His art follows the examples of Picasso and Jean Arp in undermining the concept of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.
In October 2012, Richter’s Abstraktes Bild set an auction record price for a painting by a living artist at $34 million (£21 million). This was exceeded in May 2013 when his 1968 piece Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral square, Milan) was sold for $37.1 million (£24.4 million) in New York. This was further exceeded in February 2015 when his painting Abstraktes Bild sold for $44.52 million (£30.4 million) in London at Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale.


Richter was born in Hospital Dresden-Neustadt in Dresden, Saxony, and grew up in Reichenau, Lower Silesia (now Bogatynia, Poland), and in Waltersdorf (Zittauer Gebirge), in the Upper Lusatian countryside, where his father worked as a village teacher. Gerhard’s father, Horst Richter, was a mathematics and physics student at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden, when he married Hildegard Schönfelder in 1931, and Gerhard was born the following year.

Gerhard Richter, c. 1966
Gerhard Richter, c. 1966

After struggling to maintain a position in the new Nationalist Socialist education system, Horst found a position in Reichenau. In Reichenau, Gerhard’s younger sister, Gisela was born in November 1936. Horst and Hildegard were able to remain primarily apolitical due to Reichenau’s location in the countryside. Horst, being a teacher, was eventually forced to join the National Socialist Party. He never became an avid supporter of Nazism, and was not required to attend party rallies. In 1942, Gerhard was conscripted into the Deutsches Jungvolk, but by the end of the war he was still too young to be an official member of the Hitler Youth. In 1943 Hildegard moved the family to Waltersdorf, and was later forced to sell her piano which had great importance to her as her father had been a well known pianist.

"S. mit kind (S. with child)," 1995
“S. mit kind (S. with child),” 1995

Gerhard left school after 10th grade and apprenticed as an advertising and stage-set painter, before studying at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In 1948, he finished higher professional school in Zittau, and, between 1949 and 1951, successively worked as an apprentice with a sign painter and as a painter. In 1950, his application for study at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts was rejected as “too bourgeois”. He finally began his studies at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in 1951. His teachers were Karl von Appen, Heinz Lohmar (de) and Will Grohmann.

Richter married Marianne Eufinger in 1957; she gave birth to his first daughter. He married his second wife, the sculptor Isa Genzken, in 1982. Richter had a son and daughter with his third wife, Sabine Moritz after they were married in 1995.


In the early days of his career, he prepared a wall painting (Communion with Picasso, 1955) for the refectory of his Academy of Arts as part of his B.A. Another mural entitled Lebensfreude (Joy of Life) followed at the German Hygiene Museum for his diploma. It was intended to produce an effect “similar to that of wallpaper or tapestry”.

"Lebensfreude (Joy of Life)," 1956
“Lebensfreude (Joy of Life),” 1956

Both paintings were painted over for ideological reasons after Richter escaped from East to West Germany two months before the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. After German reunification two “windows” of the wall painting Joy of Life (1956) were uncovered in the stairway of the German Hygiene Museum, but these were later covered over when it was decided to restore the Museum to its original 1930 state. From 1957 to 1961 Richter worked as a master trainee in the academy and took commissions for the then state of East Germany. During this time, he worked intensively on murals like Arbeiterkampf (Workers’ struggle), on oil paintings (e.g. portraits of the East German actress Angelica Domröse and of Richter’s first wife Ema), on various self-portraits and on a panorama of Dresden with the neutral name Stadtbild (Cityscape), 1956.

“Stadtbild (Cityscape),” 1956

When he escaped to West Germany, Richter began to study at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Karl Otto Götz together with Sigmar Polke, HA Schult, Kuno Gonschior, Hans Erhard Walther, Konrad Lueg and Gotthard Graubner. With Polke and Konrad Fischer (de) (pseudonym Lueg) he introduced the term Kapitalistischer Realismus (Capitalistic Realism) as an anti-style of art, appropriating the pictorial shorthand of advertising. This title also referred to the realist style of art known as Socialist Realism, then the official art doctrine of the Soviet Union, but it also commented upon the consumer-driven art doctrine of western capitalism.

Richter with colleagues Sigmar Polke, Konrad Fischer (then Lueg) and Manfred Kuttner

 

“Party,” 1963

Richter taught at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as a visiting professor; he returned to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1971, where he was a professor for over 15 years. In 1983, Richter resettled from Düsseldorf to Cologne, where he still lives and works today. In 1996, he moved into a studio designed by architect Thiess Marwede.

Window at Cologne Cathedral, by Gerhard Richter
Window at Cologne Cathedral, by Gerhard Richter
Window at Cologne Cathedral, by Gerhard Richter

Nearly all of Richter’s work demonstrates both illusionistic space that seems natural and the physical activity and material of painting—as mutual interferences. For Richter, reality is the combination of new attempts to understand—to represent; in his case, to paint—the world surrounding us. Richter’s opinions and perspectives on his own art, and that of the larger art market and various artistic movements, are compiled in a chronological record of “Writings” and interviews. The following quotes are excerpts from the compilation:

  • “I am a Surrealist.”
  • “My sole concern is the object. Otherwise I would not take so much trouble over my choice of subjects; otherwise I would not paint at all.”
  • “My concern is never art, but always what art can be used for.”


Edited from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerhard_Richter


Digital collage portrait by TMLipp
Created for The Artist Birthday Series:
February 9, 2017

Gerhard Richter

(click image for full resolution)

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Click the button below to let us know about typos, incorrect information, broken links, erroneous attribution,
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William Bouguereau

William Bouguereau: painter

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde. By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work.

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William-Adolphe Bouguereau was born in La Rochelle, France, on November 30, 1825, into a family of wine and olive oil merchants. He seemed destined to join the family business but for the intervention of his uncle Eugène, a Roman Catholic priest, who taught him classical and Biblical subjects, and arranged for Bouguereau to go to high school. He showed artistic talent early on, and his father was convinced by a client to send him to the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, where the young artist won first prize in figure painting for a depiction of Saint Roch. During this time, in order to earn extra money, he designed labels for jams and preserves.

"Equality Before Death," 1848 - one of the artist's rare early works
“Equality Before Death,” 1848 – one of the artist’s rare early works

Through his uncle, Bouguereau was given a commission to paint portraits of parishioners, and when his aunt matched the sum he earned, Bouguereau went to Paris and became a student at the École des Beaux-Arts. To supplement his formal training in drawing, he attended anatomical dissections and studied historical costumes and archeology. He was admitted to the studio of François-Édouard Picot, where he studied painting in the academic style.

"L'Idylle," 1850
“L’Idylle,” 1850

Academic painting placed the highest status on historical and mythological subjects and Bouguereau won the coveted Prix de Rome at age 26 in 1850, with his Zenobia Found by Shepherds on the Banks of the Araxes. His reward was a year at the Villa Medici in Rome, Italy, where in addition to formal lessons he was able to study first-hand the Renaissance artists and their masterpieces, as well as Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities. He also studied classical literature, which influenced his subject choice for the rest of his career.

"Zenobia Discovered by Shepherds on the Banks of the Araxes," 1850
“Zenobia Discovered by Shepherds on the Banks of the Araxes,” 1850

Bouguereau, painting within the traditional academic style, exhibited at the annual exhibitions of the Paris Salon for his entire working life. An early reviewer stated, “M. Bouguereau has a natural instinct and knowledge of contour. The eurythmie of the human body preoccupies him, and in recalling the happy results which, in this genre, the ancients and the artists of the sixteenth century arrived at, one can only congratulate M. Bouguereau in attempting to follow in their footsteps … Raphael was inspired by the ancients … and no one accused him of not being original.”Raphael was a favorite of Bouguereau and he took this review as a high compliment. He had fulfilled one of the requirements of the Prix de Rome by completing an old-master copy of Raphael’s The Triumph of Galatea. In many of his works, he followed the same classical approach to composition, form, and subject matter.

Bouguereau's "Triumph of Galatea," 1852 - after Raphael
Bouguereau’s “Triumph of Galatea,” 1852 – after Raphael
The original "Triumph of Galatea," by Raphael, 1511
The original “Triumph of Galatea,” by Raphael, 1511

Bouguereau’s graceful portraits of women were considered very charming, partly because he could beautify a sitter while also retaining her likeness. He gained wide fame in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and in the United States, and commanded high prices. In his own time, Bouguereau was considered to be one of the greatest painters in the world by the academic art community, and he was simultaneously reviled by the avant-garde for his traditionalism.

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Bouguereau’s career was close to a direct ascent with hardly a setback. To many, he epitomized taste and refinement, and a respect for tradition. To others however, he was a competent technician stuck in the past. Degas and his associates used the term “Bouguereauté” in a derogatory manner to describe any artistic style reliant on “slick and artificial surfaces”, also known as a “licked finish.” In an 1872 letter, Degas wrote that he strove to emulate Bouguereau’s ordered and productive working style, although with Degas’ famous trenchant wit, and the aesthetic tendencies of the Impressionists, it is possible the statement was meant to be ironic. Paul Gauguin loathed him, rating him a round zero in his book Racontars de Rapin, and later describing in Avant et après (Intimate Journals) the single occasion when Bouguereau made him smile on coming across a couple of his paintings in an Arles’ brothel, “where they belonged”.
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In 1856, he married Marie-Nelly Monchablon and together they had five children, three sons and two daughters.

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By the late 1850s, he had made strong connections with art dealers, particularly Paul Durand-Ruel (later the champion of the Impressionists), who helped clients buy paintings from artists who exhibited at the Salons. Thanks to Paul Durand-Ruel, Bouguereau met Hugues Merle, who later often was compared to Bouguereau. The Salons annually drew over 300,000 people, providing valuable exposure to exhibited artists.

"Song Of The Angels," 1881
“Song Of The Angels,” 1881

Bouguereau’s fame extended to England by the 1860s, and with his growing income he bought a large house and studio in Montparnasse, an area of Paris popular with artists to this day. Although relatively little is known about it, Bouguereau’s private life was less than idyllic. He and his family lived together with his domineering mother in a purposely-built large house and studio at 75, rue Notre-Dame des Champs.

The house of Bouguereau, Paris (photo by robh)
The house of Bouguereau, Paris (photo by robh)

Bouguereau was a staunch traditionalist whose genre paintings and mythological themes were modern interpretations of Classical subjects, both pagan and Christian, with a concentration on the naked female human body. The idealized world of his paintings brought to life goddesses, nymphs, bathers, shepherdesses, and madonnas in a way that appealed to wealthy art patrons of the era.

before-the-bath-1900
“Before The Bath,” 1900
"Le Guêpier (The Wasp's Nest)," 1892
“Le Guêpier (The Wasp’s Nest),” 1892
"The Wave," 1896
“The Wave,” 1896
"Les Deux Baigneuses (The Two Bathers)," 1884
“Les Deux Baigneuses (The Two Bathers),” 1884

Bouguereau employed traditional methods of working up a painting, including detailed pencil studies and oil sketches, and his careful method resulted in a pleasing and accurate rendering of the human form. His painting of skin, hands, and feet was particularly admired. He also used some of the religious and erotic symbolism of the Old Masters, such as the “broken pitcher” which connoted lost innocence.

"The Broken Pitcher," 1891
“The Broken Pitcher,” 1891

Bouguereau received many commissions to decorate private houses, public buildings, and churches. As was typical of such commissions, Bouguereau would sometimes paint in his own style, and at other times conform to an existing group style. Early on, Bouguereau was commissioned in all three venues, which added enormously to his prestige and fame. He also made reductions of his public paintings for sale to patrons, of which The Annunciation (1888) is an example. He was also a successful portrait painter and many of his paintings of wealthy patrons remain in private hands.

"Virgin Of The Lillies," 1999
“Virgin Of The Lillies,” 1999
"Pietà," 1876
“Pietà,” 1876
"Annunciation," 1888
“Annunciation,” 1888

From the 1860s, Bouguereau was closely associated with the Académie Julian, and in 1875 began teaching there. The Académie was a co-ed art institution independent of the École des Beaux-Arts, with no entrance exams and with nominal fees, where he gave lessons and advice to art students, male and female, from around the world. During several decades he taught drawing and painting to hundreds, if not thousands, of students.

Atelier of Bouguereau, women's class, late 1800's
Atelier of Bouguereau, women’s class, late 1800’s

Many of them managed to establish artistic careers in their own countries, sometimes following his academic style, and in other cases, rebelling against it, like one of his most famous students, Henri Matisse.

Matisse (center, seated) while a student of William Bouguereau
Matisse (center, seated) while a student of William Bouguereau

Throughout the years, Bouguereau steadily gained numerous honors of the Académie, reaching Life Member in 1876, Grand Medal of Honor in 1885, Commander of the Legion of Honor in 1885, and Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor in 1905.

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In 1877, both his wife and infant son died. At a rather advanced age, Bouguereau was married for the second time in 1896, to fellow artist Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau, one of his pupils. He used his influence to open many French art institutions to women for the first time, including the Académie Française.

Elizabeth Jane Goodall Bouguereau (n/d)
Elizabeth Jane Goodall Bouguereau (n/d)

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Near the end of his life he described his love of his art: “Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come … if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable.” In his lifetime, he is known to have painted 826 paintings, the whereabouts of many are still unknown.

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In the spring of 1905, Bouguereau’s house and studio in Paris were burgled, with much vandalism and a number of his works stolen. Having suffered from heart disease for some years already, the stress of this event took its toll on the aged master. His heart, now broken emotionally as well as physically, stopped beating on August 19, 1905. Bouguereau was 79. He was buried at the Cimetière de Montparnasse, in Paris.

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In 1974, the New York Cultural Center staged a show of Bouguereau’s work partly as a curiosity, although curator Robert Isaacson had his eye on the long-term rehabilitation of Bouguereau’s legacy and reputation. In 1984, the Borghi Gallery hosted a commercial show of 23 oil paintings and one drawing. In the same year a major exhibition was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada. The exhibition opened at the Musée du Petit-Palais, in Paris, traveled to The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, and concluded in Montréal. More recently, resurgence in the artist’s popularity has been promoted by American collector Fred Ross, who owns a number of paintings by Bouguereau and features him on his website at Art Renewal Center.

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The great master Salvador Dalí was also a collector of Bouguereau’s work later in his life, and one can easily see the influence that the traditionalist had on the most famous surrealist in history. This influence is notable in the piece left unfinished at Dalí’s Port Lligat home in Spain. Dalí left the home upon the death of his beloved wife Gala, and never returned to finish what certainly would have been another in his long series of masterpieces.

"Baigneuse," 1870, now located at the Musée Gala-Salvador Dali, Figueres, Spain
“Baigneuse,” 1870, now located at the Musée Gala-Salvador Dali, Figueres, Spain
Unfinished work by Salvador Dalí, in Port Lligat, Spain (photo by TMLipp)
Unfinished work by Salvador Dalí, in Port Lligat, Spain (photo by TMLipp)

Since 1975 prices for Bouguereau’s works have climbed steadily, with major paintings selling at high prices: $1,500,000 in 1998 for The Heart’s Awakening, $2,600,000 in 1999 for Alma Parens and Charity at auction in May 2000 for $3,500,000.

"Leveil du coeur (The Heart's Awakening)," 1892
“Leveil du coeur (The Heart’s Awakening),” 1892

Notre Dame des Anges (Our Lady of the Angels) was last shown publicly in the United States at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893. In 2002 it was donated to the Daughters of Mary Mother of Our Savior, an order of nuns is affiliated with Clarence Kelly’s Traditionalist Catholic Society of St. Pius V. In 2009 the nuns sold it to an art dealer for $450,000, who was able to sell it for more than $2 million dollars. The nuns were subsequently found guilty of libel in 2012 by an Albany, New York jury of defaming the dealer in remarks made in a television interview.

"Our Lady Of The Angels,"
“Our Lady Of The Angels,” 1893

Edited from:


William Bouguereau

Digital collage portrait by TMLipp
Created for The Artist Birthday Series:
(click image for full resolution)

bouguereau-feat


TML Arts aims for accuracy in content and functionality in posts.
Click the button below to let us know about typos, incorrect information, broken links, erroneous attribution,
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Special thanks to: Daily Artfixx, On This Day, WikipediaFind-A-Grave, A&E Bio, The Smithsonian American Art Museum Renwick Gallery, Famous Birthdays, Encyclopedia Brittanica, and all the art history buffs that keep the internet full of wonderful information and images. 


Hannah Höch

Hannah Höch: visual artist

Hannah Höch (November 1, 1889 – May 31, 1978) was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage. Her work existed to dismantle the fable and dichotomy that existed in the concept of the “New Woman”: an energetic, professional and androgynous woman, who is ready to take their place as man’s equal.

hannah-hoch-profile

Hannah Höch was born Anna Therese Johanne Höch in Gotha, Germany. Although she went to school, domesticity took precedence in her household, and in 1904 at the age of 14, Hannah was taken out of the Höhere Töchterschule in Gotha to care for her youngest sibling Marianne.

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Hannah Höch with one of her Dada dolls, c. 1920

In 1912 she began classes at the School of Applied Arts in Berlin under the guidance of glass designer Harold Bergen. She chose the curriculum glass design and graphic arts, rather than fine arts, to please her father. In 1914, at the start of World War I, she left the school and returned home to Gotha to work with the Red Cross.

hannah-hoch-p
c. 1925

In 1915 she returned to school, entering the graphics class of Emil Orlik at the National Institute of the Museum of Arts and Crafts. Also in 1915, Höch began an influential friendship with Raoul Hausmann, a member of the Berlin Dada movement. Höch’s involvement with the Berlin Dadaists began in earnest in 1917.

Höch, 1915
At 27 years old, 1915

 

Hannah Hoch, 1916
At 28 years old, 1916

It was at this time that Höch became one of the first pioneers of the art form that would come to be known as photomontage. Photomontage (or fotomontage), is a type of collage in which the pasted items are actual photographs or photographic reproductions pulled from the press or other widely produced media.

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After her schooling, she worked in the handicrafts department for Ullstein Verlag (The Ullstein Press), designing dress and embroidery patterns for Die Dame (The Lady) and Die Praktische Berlinerin (The Practical Berlin Woman). The influence of this early work and training can be seen in her later work involving references to dress patterns and textiles.

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In 1920, she participated in the First International Dada Fair, in Berlin, which took on the traditional format of an art salon, but the walls of the site were plastered with posters and photomontages. Höch was allowed to participate only after Hausmann threatened to withdraw his own work from the exhibition if she was kept out. Höch’s large-scale photomontage Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser DADA durch die letzte weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands  (English: Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany) (1919)—a forceful commentary, particularly on the gender issues erupting in postwar Weimar Germany—was one of the most prominently displayed and well-received works of the show. Despite her critical success, as the group’s only woman, Höch was typically patronized by and kept at the margins of the Berlin group. Consequently, she began to move away from the group, including Hausmann, with whom she broke off her relationship in 1922.

Höch (on right) with Raoul Hausmann, at the First International Dada Fair, 1920
Höch (on right) with Raoul Hausmann, at the First International Dada Fair, 1920

 

The First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920 (Hannah Höch, seen on far left)
The First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920 (Hannah Höch, seen on far left)

 

The First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920 (Hannah Höch, seated on left)
The First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920 (Hannah Höch, seated on left)

 

Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser DADA durch die letzte weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (English: Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany) (1919)
Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser DADA durch die letzte weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (English: Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany) (1919)

Art historian Maria Makela has characterized Höch’s personal relationship with Raoul Hausmann as “stormy”, and identifies the central cause of their altercations—some of which ended in violence—in Hausmann’s refusal to leave his wife. Hausmann continually disparaged Höch not only for her desire to marry him, which he described as a “bourgeois” inclination, but also for her opinions on art. Hausmann’s hypocritical stance on women’s emancipation spurred Höch to write “a caustic short story” entitled The Painter in 1920, the subject of which is “an artist who is thrown into an intense spiritual crisis when his wife asks him to do the dishes.”

1920
1920

 

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Höch with one of her Dada dolls, c. 1921

From 1926 to 1929 she lived and worked in the Netherlands. Höch made many influential friendships over the years, with Kurt Schwitters and Piet Mondrian among others. In 1926, she met and began a relationship with the Dutch writer and linguist Mathilda (‘Til’) Brugman, whom Höch met through Schwitters. By autumn of 1926, Höch moved to Hague to live with Brugman, where they lived until 1929, at which time they moved to Berlin. Höch and Brugman’s relationship lasted nine years, until 1935. They did not explicitly define their relationship as lesbian (likely because they did not feel it necessary or desirable), instead choosing to refer to it as a “private love relationship.”

Höch and Brugman, 1930
Höch and Brugman, 1930

While the Dadaists, including Georg Schrimpf, Franz Jung, and Johannes Baader, “paid lip service to women’s emancipation,” they were clearly reluctant to include a woman among their ranks. Hans Richter described Höch’s contribution to the Dada movement as the “sandwiches, beer and coffee she managed somehow to conjure up despite the shortage of money.” During their partnership, Raoul Hausmann even suggested that Höch get a job to support him financially. Höch was the lone woman among the Berlin Dada group, although Sophie Täuber, Beatrice Wood, and Baroness Else von Freytag-Loringhoven were also important, and decidedly overlooked, Dada figures. Höch references the hypocrisy of the Berlin Dada group and German society as a whole in her photomontage, Da-Dandy.

Da-Dandy, 1919
Da-Dandy, 1919

In 1935, Höch began a relationship with Kurt Matthies, whom she was married to from 1938 to 1944.

"Hungarian Rhapsody," 1940
“Hungarian Rhapsody,” 1940

Her work commonly combined male and female traits into one unified being. During the era of the Weimar Republic, “mannish women were both celebrated and castigated for breaking down traditional gender roles.” Her androgynous characters may also have been related to her bisexuality and attraction to masculinity in women (that is, attraction to the female form paired with stereotypically masculine characteristics).

hannah-hoch-8 screen-shot-2012-10-17-at-2-40-pm hoch1001

During World War II, Höch spent the years of the Third Reich in Berlin, Germany, keeping a low profile. She lived in Berlin-Heiligensee, a remote area on the outskirts of Berlin, hiding in a small garden house. She married businessman and pianist Kurt Matthies in 1938 and divorced him in 1944. She suffered from the Nazi’s censorship of art, and her work was deemed “degenerate art” making it even more difficult to show her works. She was even forced to hide much of her work by burying it in her yard until the war was over.

1946
1946

Though her work was not acclaimed after the war as it had been before the rise of the Third Reich, she continued to produce her photomontages and exhibit them internationally until her death at the age of 88 in 1978, in Berlin.

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Her house and garden can be visited at the annual Day of the Memorial (Tag des offenen Denkmals).

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Afterword:

In the spring of 2016, my always-art-encouraging husband and I took Dada inspired trip to Switzerland and Germany, specifically to visit three separate exhibitions celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Dada movement. On May 1, we visited the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich, to visit the show DADA Differently: Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Hannah Höch, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven curated by Sabine Schaschl, Margit Weinberg Staber, and Evelyne Bucher. It was a relatively small but perfectly presented collection of works from all three women. Having been a long time devotee of ladies of Dada, I actually burst into tears when taking Höch’s work in for the first time. Thus far, only Van Gogh and Cezanne had brought me to the point of public weeping, so this was a treat, indeed.

That same afternoon, we walked over to the Kunsthaus Zürich to see the Dadaglobe Reconstructed on its last day of exhibition in Europe (the collection was then exhibited at MOMA in New York in the United States from June 12–September 18, 2016), which contained rare pieces from Hannah Höch and others. Dadaglobe Reconstructed reunited over 100 works created for Dadaglobe, Tristan Tzara’s planned but unrealized magnum opus, originally slated for publication in 1921.

One of Hannah Höch's works in the Dadaglobe exhibition in Zurich, May 2016 - featuring a self portrait (seen on left) and portrait of Raoul Hausmann
One of Hannah Höch’s works in the “Dadaglobe: Reconstructed” exhibition in Zurich, May 1, 2016 – featuring a self portrait (seen here on the right) and portrait of Raoul Hausmann –  (photo by TMLipp)

 

View of Dadaglobe: Reconstructed, at the Kunsthaus Zürich, May 1, 2016
View of “Dadaglobe: Reconstructed,” at the Kunsthaus Zürich, May 1, 2016 (photo by TMLipp)

We then traveled to Germany and the gorgeous city of Mannheim, where the Kunsthalle Mannheim organized a large, impressive solo exhibition of Höch’s work, which we were honored to get the chance to see on May 6.  Nine large rooms held the collection, with a tenth, interactive room where one could watch a wonderful documentary about Höch’s life, or one could play with the wall of make-your-own-photomontage-Dada-contruction-from-wall-magnets (which I enjoyed immensely). The collection was comprehensive, breathtaking, and emotionally touching, and we spent hours slowly moving through the dreamland of Höch’s work.

Comprehensive exhibition of the work by Hannah Höch, Kunsthalle Mannheim (photo by TMLipp, May 6, 2016)
Exhibition of the work by Hannah Höch, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (photo by TMLipp, May 6, 2016)

 

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Exhibition of the work by Hannah Höch, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (photo by TMLipp, May 6, 2016)

 

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Exhibition of the work by Hannah Höch, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (photo by TMLipp, May 6, 2016)

 

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“Self Portrait of MyDadaSelf” by TMLipp, created at the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany, during the exhibtion of the work by Hannah Höch. (photo by TMLipp, May 6, 2016)

 

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Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (photo by TMLipp, May 6, 2016)

 


Edited from:


Hannah Höch, November 1, 2016

Digital collage portrait by TMLipp
Created for The Artist Birthday Series:
(click image for full resolution)

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Hedda Sterne

Hedda Sterne: painter

Hedda Sterne (August 4, 1910 – April 8, 2011) was an artist who never committed to any particular style or school of thought in regards to art, leaving her free to express and create whatever she felt. Perhaps because the history of art has not been very generous to women artists in the past, Sterne has been almost completely overlooked in art historical narratives of the post-war American art scene. At the time of her death, possibly the last surviving artist of the first generation of the New York School, Hedda Sterne viewed her widely varied works more as in flux than as definitive statements.scan
Sterne was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1910 as Hedwig Lindenberg. Her parents were Simon Lindenberg, a high school language teacher, and Eugenie (Wexler) Lindenberg. She was the second child; her only sibling, Edouard, later became a prominent conductor in Paris. In 1919 when she was 9 years old, her father Simon died and her mother remarried Leonida Cioara, the partner in their family business.

Hedda's brother went on to become the well known conductor, Edouard Lindenberg
Hedda’s brother went on to become the well known conductor, Edouard Lindenberg

Sterne was raised with artistic values from a young age, most notably, her tie to Surrealism, which stemmed from a family friend, the Romanian Surrealist painter, Victor Brauner. Sterne was homeschooled until age 11. Upon graduating from high school in 1927, she attended art classes in Vienna, then had a short attendance at the University of Bucharest studying philosophy and art history. She found the curriculum limiting, and dropped out to pursue artistic training independently. She spent time traveling, especially to Paris, and developing her technical skills as both a painter and sculptor.

"Visages," 1930
“Visages,” 1930
"Personaj Feminin," 1938
“Personaj Feminin,” 1938

She married a childhood friend, Frederick Stern, in 1932 when she was 22. In 1941 she escaped Nazi encroachment into Romania during World War II, when she fled to New York to be with Frederick. In 1941 she met Peggy Guggenheim, through whom she met several artists. In 1944 she divorced Stern and married Saul Steinberg, the Romanian-born American cartoonist and illustrator, and shortly thereafter she became a U.S. citizen.

Saul Steinberg and Hedda Sterne
Saul Steinberg and Hedda Sterne
"Machine 5," 1950
“Machine 5,” 1950

In 1950 she was named one of country’s best artists under age of 36 in the March 20 issue of Life magazine. Two months later, on May 20, 1950, Sterne and 17 other artists signed a letter to the president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art to protest aesthetically conservative group-exhibition juries. All signers were dubbed “The Irascibles.

The famous "Irascibles Letter," with a portion of the text and typed signatures, 1950
The famous “Irascibles Letter,” with a portion of the text and typed signatures, 1950

In an article about the letter, wherein the famous Nina Leen photograph of the artists was published for the first time, Sterne is immediately the focal point. The group photograph had comical consequences, though Sterne did not get many laughs from it. She had arrived late for the session and Leen pushed her to the back of the group, where she stood on a table. Her apparently black coat in the monochrome photograph stands out against the arrayed grey suits and ties, and her position made her the apex of the group, strikingly beautiful above the frowns of the serious men, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, to name a few.

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“The Irascibles:” Front row: Theodoros Stamos, Jimmy Ernst, Barnett Newman, James Brooks, Mark Rothko; middle row: Richard Pousette-Dart, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Bradley Walker Tomlin; back row: Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Hedda Sterne – photo by Nina Leen

Before the publication of the article, Sterne had been welcomed in the group, at least as much as a woman could be in those times. (In much the same way the great Hannah Höch – now recognized as a central figure to the movement – was “welcome” amongst the Dadaists, only later to be referred to in Hans Richter’s memoirs, saying “her contribution was the sandwiches, beer and coffee she managed somehow to conjure up despite the shortage of money.”) The Abstract Expressionist male contingent would joke with Sterne, saying, “You paint just like a man,” as in “not at all like a girl.” Sterne said years later in an interview, “That was supposed to make me die with being pleased.” However, after the photo was published and her popularity began to eclipse many of theirs, their petty resentment grew to such a level that within a short period of time, Sterne reported “they hated me,” and the tenuous welcome was no longer afforded.

Saul Lindenberg and Hedda Sterne, in a photo for Life magazine, promoted as one of popular cultures first "power couples"
Saul Lindenberg and Hedda Sterne, in a photo for Life magazine, promoted as one of popular cultures first “power couples”

Although the sculptors Louise Bourgeois and Mary Callery were among the signers of the letter, Hedda Sterne was the only woman in the photograph. This singularity made her name known to many who were unfamiliar with her work. And whereas this was a nice boost at the time, it proved to be a burden over the years, in much the same way as “typecasting” is for an actor. As she irritatedly remarked near the end of her life, “I am known more for that darn photo than for 80 years of work.”

Copy of the article from Life magazine, including the photo that would overshadow Hedda Sterne's actual work for the rest of her life
Copy of the article from Life magazine, including the photo that would overshadow Hedda Sterne’s actual work for the rest of her life

Sterne and Steinberg separated in 1960 but remained close friends. Sterne began to disengage socially from the art world, and led an increasingly private life. However, she was still involved in many shows and exhibits in New York. In November 1992 she met the art dealer Philippe Briet, and began a friendship which led to several projects until his death in February 1997, when he was found murdered in his New York apartment. The case has never been solved.

Gallerist Philippe Briet (left, seated) with his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat (on right) and unidentified man. Briet and Basquiat were touring Africa at the time. Basquiat would die of an accidental overdose two years later, Briet would be found murdered in his home in 1997.
Tragic friends: Gallerist Philippe Briet (left, seated) on a tour of Africa with his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat (on right) and unidentified man. Basquiat would die of an accidental overdose two years later, Briet would be found murdered in his home in 1997.
Portrait of Hedda Sterne, 1992 - by Barbara Yoshida
Portrait of Hedda Sterne, 1992 – by Barbara Yoshida

Sterne practiced her art until the loss of her sight, caused by macular degeneration disease, began to impede her abilities. In 1997 she could no longer paint, but continued to draw. The point was made when, afflicted by cataracts and nearly blind, she started to make white on white drawings, saying that they depicted the floaters she saw behind her eyes.

"Untitled," c.2000
“Untitled,” c.2000

Sterne did not give up working until 2004, when she suffered a severe stroke, though behind her blind eyes she continued to think about art, as well as working on forgetting her ego. “To a great extent I have lost all interest in this fiction, Hedda Sterne,” she told a reporter at the end of her life. She would pass away on April 8, 2011, at the age of 100. The last years of her life she became a recluse, and when she died, she had no known surviving family members. There is no record of a funeral, and her burial is unknown.

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Sterne’s works are in the collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, also in Washington, D.C.

"New York VIII," 1954, now at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC
“New York VIII,” 1954, now at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Edited from:

See also:

Select Artwork | The Hedda Sterne Foundation

And a wonderful interview with writer Sarah Boxer, who wrote extensively about Sterne’s life: http://blogs.artinfo.com/modernartnotes/2011/04/qa-with-sarah-boxer-on-hedda-sterne-3/


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Click the button below to let us know about typos, incorrect information, broken links, erroneous attribution,
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Special thanks to: Daily Artfixx, On This Day, Wikipedia,
Find-A-Grave, A&E Bio, The Smithsonian American Art Museum Renwick Gallery, Famous Birthdays, Encyclopedia Brittanica, and all the art history buffs that keep the internet full of
wonderful information and images.