Jeanne Mammen

INDEPENDENT AND SELF-WILLED

Among the many different characters and types we meet in Jeanne Mammen’s work, it is women who make the strongest impression. As a chronicler of the Weimar Republic, the artist wields a sharp pen as she dissects the rituals that New Woman undergoes in pursuit of a media ideal. The pale-skinned vamp in “The Redhead” does not flinch as she endures the rigours of a beauty parlour. The delicate watercolour appeared in Ulk in 1928 with the caption “Thoughts at the hairdresser’s”. That face, however, is not giving away any of those reflections.

The artist never subjected herself to this cult of beauty, but nor was she gentle with herself. In this self-portrait from 1932, she sketches her physiognomy simply with long lines of pencil. Short, dense strokes mark the deep shadows on her face. Sunk in thought yet clearly focused, she sits there chewing her lower lip. Her hair is hastily combed. The eyes look up and out – beyond the picture, away from the person drawing it. Towards us.

 

 

 

Berlinische Galerie

Landesmuseum für Moderne
Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur
Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts

Alte Jakobstraße 124–128
10969 Berlin Germany

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