Hannah Höch, Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany (1919)
Höch, Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany (1919)
Made from a collage of pasted papers and at about 90 x 144 centimeters, Hannah Höch's most famous work is a direct critique of Weimar Germany. Höch (November 1, 1889 – May 31, 1978), born in Germany, was considered a fringe figure of the Berlin Dada movement. Her actual inclusion is evident in her work and her influence but because of her romantic involvement with Raoul Hausmann many of its main figures considered her as more woman than artist. However, in her later years she would develop friendships with Mondrian and Kurt Schwitters as well as other influential artists . Höch's work with photomontage was well before it was a common medium and as such she was a pioneer of this medium.
"The Dada movement was many things, but it was essentially an anti-war movement in Europe and New York from 1915 to 1923. It was an artistic revolt and protest against traditional beliefs of a pro-war society, and also fought against sexism/racism to a lesser degree. The word "dada" was picked at random out of a dictionary, and is actually the French word for "hobbyhorse" - from the Art History archive. The Dada movement's most famous name is probably Marcel Duchamp.
Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany is, as I stated above, her most well-known work but she completed many other photomontages with many addressing serious topics that are remarkably similar to many ideas found in the contemporary art of today. She often commented on women's rights and was an early feminist, even going so far as to criticize women in the media and even marriage. She herself had abortions during her life. Other ideas that were important to her were the rising racial prejudices and homo- and bi-sexuality. Höch famously spent a lot of her life romantically involved with women as well as men.
For me this work is so important and beautiful because it begins to address rising concerns in Germany during the Weimar Republic but also because it is an early indication of feminism in art and the continued lack of respect for female artists.
Link to Art History Archive:
Posted by Lydia at 9:04 PM