Join OCA tutor Keith Roberts on the 19 August at Tate Liverpool. We will visit Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919–1933.
Weimar Germany was a significant period in the history of art, with Berlin becoming a thriving centre for new arts movements. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 forced many US banks to call in sort terms loans which had helped German economic recovery after WW1 ….. by 1932 one third of the Germans were unemployed, making conditions perfect for a radical change in government.
When the Nazi’s came to power in 1933 many of Germany’s leading figures in arts, science and academia were forced to emigrate. Two key practitioners who dealt with portraiture within this period are Otto Dix and August Sander, both using different media (painting and photography respectfully). The current exhibition at Tate Liverpool covers works from both of these key practitioners, which will be discussed during the study visit.
Focus will be placed upon the photographic portraiture of August Sander whose attempt to record the stratification of German society at that time, placed him at odds with the Nazi propaganda machine. These works are significant in the history of photographic portraiture, with Sander’s ‘Menschen Des 20 Jahrhunderts’ (Citizens of the 20th Century) depicting 500 photographic portraits intended as a physiognomic definition of German people in this period. Sander’s publications were selected for burning by the Nazi’s in Bebelplatz, in Berlin on 10th May 1933.
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Image credit: August Sander The Painter Otto Dix and his Wife Martha 1925-6, printed 1991 © Die Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur – August Sander Archiv, Cologne / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2017