Here is a sampling of three of our favorite artists who created groundbreaking artwork in the Weimar Berlin era (1918-1933). While we usually like to present you with actresses and other style icons to emulate at our parties, the art, cinema and m
usic of this era demand their own spotlight! This slim decade was a hotbed of transgressive creativity and culture which we shall be exploring and celebrating in anticipation of our next Vintage Vivant: Hot Girls of Weimar Berlin! We’d loves to see your take on these works of art – let Jeanne, Hannah, Lotte, and Otto inspire you!
“I have always wanted to be just a pair of eyes, walking through the world unseen, only to be able to see others. Unfortunately one was seen.” – Jeanne Mammen, Painter
Jeanne Mammen, She Represents, 1927
“For her pictures of social relationships, Mammen chose to work in the Expressionist style. Her empathy for women shows itself in her choice of subjects: women in clubs or at parties, with men or dancing with other women, smoking, drinking, walking alone at night – in short, testing the outer limits of emancipation. In 1930, the art publisher Fritz Gurlitt offered Mammen the chance to illustrate of new edition of Pierre Louys’ Les Chanson de Bilitis, a collection of erotic prose poems inspired
by the ancient Greek courtesan Sappho. Lesbianism and other ‘degenerate’ themes made it impossible for Mammen to exhibit or sell her work after the National Socialists seized power in 1933.”
– The Blue Lantern, JANE LIBRIZZI
Carnival in Berlin
Frau mit Katze
Jeanne Mammen, Boring Dolls, 1920s
“The central motif, subject of her human and artistic concern and empathy, were women of all classes in the metropolis. She depicted them in their socially conflicting roles, also drawing attention to their ambivalence. The spirit of these portrayals originates from her own deep innermost experiences, which she expressed in the finest nuances, something that becomes accessible only when, after having experienced the greatest possible distance, one reaches the greatest possible closeness.”
– E. Roters
Hannah Höch: Collage artist
From Venetian Red: “Of all the practitioners of the photomontage medium, Hannah Höch (1889-1978) ranks as one of the most consistently innovative and clever. Yet, despite a prodigious career that spanned over half a century, for many years, if she was recognized at all, Höch was categorized simply as a minor Dadaist, an unfortunate legacy of her early association with the über-macho Berlin Dadaist group.”
Hannah Höch, Dompteuse (Tamer), 1930
Photomontage with collage elements, 14 x 10 1/4 inches
Lotte Reiniger: stop motion animator
“Among the great figures in animated film, Lotte Reiniger stands alone. No one else has taken a specific animation technique and made it so utterly her own. To date she has no rivals, and for all practical purposes the history of silhouette animation begins and ends with Reiniger. Taking the ancient art of shadow-plays, as perfected above all in China and Indonesia, she adapted it superbly for the cinema.”
– Philip Kemp
His famous portrait of Anita Berber in a crimson gown.
“Otto Dix was a German artist, painter, print maker and watercolorist. His depictions of mechanized warfare and post-war Berlin continue to shape our impressions of the Great War and Weimar society. Along with George Grosz, Dix was one of the more important figures in New Objectivity. While Grosz delved into the shadows of modern society, Dix stared into the abyss. Three themes dominate much of his art:
Modern War: Dix was a veteran of the First World War. He was haunted by the brutality of mechanized warfare long after the guns fell silent. Through his art, he returns to the desolated landscape of military trenches strewn with mutilated bodies. The dead are distorted by decomposition. Human characteristics are indistinguishable in gas masks and steel helmets.
Its Aftermath: His veterans are pitiful figures, disfigured by war and ignored by survivors. War profiteers live with abundance while the wounded toil in poverty. A blind veteran sells matches on the street as people ignore his plight, a uncomfortable reminder of humiliating defeat. Just one living thing acknowledges the veteran. It is a dachshund who urinates on the stumps that were once his legs.
and Femmes Fatales: The painting on the left is entitled Three Prostitutes but only two fit that description. The one on the left walks with her nose in the air and a toy dog in her arm. Each works the system to the best of their ability, some do better than others.His women prowl for money or stare narcissisticly at their own unshapely figures. They are ‘rotten witnesses of a system of unscrupulous exploitation.’”
- The Online Otto Dix Project