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Critical Graphics from the Weimar Period

April 5, 2003 - June 8, 2003

AWE Gallery

In Germany, the period between the two World Wars (1918-33) was one of opposing political, economic, social, and cultural standpoints. Through its brief existence, Germany’s Weimar Republic coped with rapid change in social and political attitudes and a deep, irreconcilable cultural split. Radicalism, modernity, and rationality contrasted with conservatism, fear of the modern, and irrationality.

Artists expressed their reaction to these tumultuous times by creating work that bears witness to the age “either by indicting it or by seeing to hold up a pure and undefiled image in opposition to it.” German expressionism, a cultural sensibility thathad developed before the First World War, continued into the Weimar period, describing an expansive, passionate, and relatively theoretical view of the world and human spirit. From it, and in reaction to it, now came a way of thinking known as ‘The New Objectivity’ or die Neue Sachlichkeit, in which imagery was committed to firm viewpoints and preoccupied by hopes, misgivings, anxieties, and suspicion.

This exhibition surverys the major directions and themes of New Objectivity and includes nearly 150 prints, drawings, and watercolours by 24 artists.

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