Hannah Höch, The Journalists, 1925
Hannah Höch, The Journalists, 1925

Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978)

The Journalists, 1925

Hannah Höch (1889-1978) was one of the leading figures in the Berlin Dada movement, which critically examined social conflicts in the young Weimar Republic during the period following the First World War. The Dadaists favoured technique was collage, whereby the artists cut up existing images and reproductions from printed media only to recombine and assemble the chopped-up elements. This technique was particularly suited to the young art movement, since it enabled the artists to dissect – quite literally – and reveal the negative state of affairs within society.

In the painting “The Journalists” dating from 1925, Höch simulated the Dadaist technique of montage. It is possible to make out six men before a background of various colours, which seems to be composed of diverse elements. The men are also assembled from different parts: their heads do not fit onto their bodies because they are too big. The faces are also alienated – to varying degrees. The unnaturally large noses and ears permit multiple associations; the unrealistically large noses, for example, could be a reference to the journalists’ ability to track down sensational news items.
In addition to paintings and numerous collages, the artist’s extensive archive now belongs to the Berlinische Galerie. There is some justification, therefore, in referring to her as the museum’s ‘patron saint’.

The Journalists, 1925
Oil on canvas
86 x 101 cm
Acquired with funds from the Foundation DKLB and budgetary funds of the Senator for Science and Art, Berlin

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

 
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