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Cutting Criticism

the collage work of Dada pioneer and social commentator Hannah Höch...

Cutting Criticism

In the inter-war years her commentary on racial and gender issues, such as the series From an Ethnographic Museum in which she spliced coloured and white bodies together with tribal masks, her integration of animals and people, and her political satire in pieces like Heads of State, earned the displeasure of the Nazis...

Um einen roten Mund
(Around a Red Mouth), c. 1967
Collage
20.5 x 16.5 cm
Collection of IFA, Stuttgart

Hannah Höch was the darling of Dada, hugely influential in the collage movement and an important voice of criticism during a time of national and international upheaval throughout Europe. Whitechapel Gallery in London has curated a major retrospective of Höch’s career, which began, as does the exhibition, in the 1910s, with study at two Berlin art colleges.

Following graduation Höch set to work and by 1920 was exhibiting at the seminal First International Dada Fair. In the inter-war years her commentary on racial and gender issues, such as the series From an Ethnographic Museum in which she spliced coloured and white bodies together with tribal masks, her integration of animals and people, and her political satire in pieces like Heads of State, earned the displeasure of the Nazis. Höch retreated to the sanctuary of the countryside outside Berlin during World War Two, returning to the city at its end and finding international acclaim. Höch had the ability to poke at the social change of the time with both humour and disdain, but always with undoubted aesthetic merit which was somewhat at odds with Dada’s anti-art philosophy. Grab a slice of art history at the East End gallery until 23 March.

@_TheWhitechapel

Hannah Höch — The Whitechapel Gallery, London

Staatshäupter (Heads of State)
Collage
Photomontage
16.2 x 23.3 cm
Collection of IFA, Stuttgart

Hannah Höch — The Whitechapel Gallery, London

Ohne Titel, aus der Serie:
aus einem ethnographischen Museum
(Untitled, from the series:
From an Ethnographic Museum), 1929
Photomontage with collage
49×32.5cm
Federal Republic of Germany
Collection of Contemporary Art Image:
bpk / Kupferstichkabinett,
SMB / Jörg P. Anders

Hannah Höch — The Whitechapel Gallery, London

Rohrfeder Collage (Reed Pen Collage), 1922
Collage
28.5x22cm Landesbank Berlin AG

Hannah Höch — The Whitechapel Gallery, London

Flucht (Flight), 1931
Collage
23×18.4cm
Collection of IFA, Stuttgart

Hannah Höch — The Whitechapel Gallery, London


Für ein Fest gemacht (Made for a Party), 1936
Collage
36×19.8cm
Collection of IFA, Stuttgart

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