NEUE SACHLICHKEIT

Dates: 1918-1933

Origin: Germany

Key Artists: Otto Dix, George Grosz, Max Beckman

(German: new objectivity) A movement in German painting between 1919 and 1933, the period of the Weimar Republic, characterized by the repudiation of Expressionism in favour of a an insistent realism. The term was coined in 1923 by Gustav Hartlaub, director of the Munich Kunsthalle, in connection with an exhibition, eventually held in 1925, of work by ‘artists who have retained or regained their fidelity to positive, tangible reality’. The movement, which was stylistically diverse, had no theoretical basis or manifesto and from the beginning was seen to have ‘left’ and ‘right’ wings. It encompassed the veristic social criticism of Grosz and Dix, the elegant portrayal of 1920s decadence by Christian Schad (1894–1982), and the prosaic industrial scenes of Carl Grossberg (1894–1940); all, however, were concerned with representation of the contemporary world. The movement dissolved in 1933 under pressure from the Nazis and several of the leading artists were declared ‘degenerate’.

Rodgers, David. “Neue Sachlichkeit.” The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t118/e1869&gt;

Max Beckman

 

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