This comment was written by HAVC 135B on 2 Sep 2016.

HAVC 135B : German Art 1905-1945

How did the political imperatives of Dada and of some Neue Sachlichkeit artworks and photography replace the experimental ones of Expressionism?

The Dada and Neue Sachlichkeit movements supplanted Expressionism’s sociocultural clout in many ways—the most profound way in which this occurred was merited on the postwar generation’s revitalized political impetus. One can identify Expressionism’s debasement from the artistic vanguard, prior to the emergence of Dada and Neue Sachlichkeit, within Franz Marc’s "letters from the front" (see Long #40)—in the excerpts, Marc epitomizes Expressionism’s contemporaneous lack of resolve. Accordingly, one can understand the postwar artistic milieus as subsequent of an unacclimated social paradigm.
This description of an ‘unacclimated social paradigm’ holds true not only for the agency of Dada and Neue Sachlichkeit, but adequately characterizes the Weimar polity as a whole. The nativity of Germany’s first democratic state was complicated by an embittered and militaristic Right and proactive and revolutionary Left—crudely put, the failure of the Spartacus Revolution inhibited the Left while the dissolve of monarchical sovereignty aggravated the Right.
By the foundation of Weimar Germany, Expressionism was at an undeniable impasse—unable to capture the ethos of the new generation.

- Summer 2016

Contents of this reply: