Degenerate Art at the Neue Galerie – New York

Degenerate Art at the Neue Galerie – New YorkDegenerate Art at the Neue Galerie – New YorkDegenerate Art at the Neue Galerie – New York

March 13, 2014 through September 1, 2014

– Through fifty paintings and sculptures and thirty works on paper augmented by posters, photographs and other memorabilia from public and private collections around the world, Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937, restages the infamous display of ,“degenerate,” modern art presented by the Nazi regime in Munich in 1937. Promoting the idea that modernism in art was part of the conspiracy by Jews to corrupt German society even though only six of the artists included were indeed Jewish, the exhibit consisted of works appropriated from public museums and stolen from private collections, made in array of vanguard modernist styles, from Cubism to Expressionism to Dadaism to Surrealism to pure abstraction that Nazi authorities deemed demonstrations of degenerate qualities such as, “decadence,” “mental disease,” “racial impurity,” and, “weakness of character.”

Because no catalog was created for it, modern scholars have reconstructed the original installation from secondary sources determining that 650 paintings, sculptures and prints were included by 112 artists who were primarily German including Georg Grosz, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Georg Kolbe, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Franz Marc, Ewald Mataré, Karel Niestrath, Emil Nolde, Christian Rohlfs and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff among the most notable, although Austrian Oskar Kokoschka, Lithuanian Lasar Segall and Russians Marc Chagall and Wassily Kandinsky were also featured. Works by other foreign artists such as Picasso and Mondrian were appropriated as well, but instead of being displayed were either sold on the international art market for hard currency or destroyed in March of 1939 when the Berlin Fire Brigade burned about 4,000 paintings, drawings and prints.

Highlights of this installation include a variety of works from the Munich display like Max Beckmann’s, “Departure,” (1932) and, “Cattle in a Barn,” (1933), George Grosz’s, “Portrait of Max Herrmann-Neisse,”  (1925),  Erich Heckel’s,  “Barbershop” (1913), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s, “Winter Landscape in Moonlight,” (1919), Paul Klee’s, “The Angler,” (1921), “The Twittering Machine,” (1922) and, “Ghost Chamber with the Tall Door,” (1925), Oskar Kokoschka’s,” The Duchess of Montesquiou-Fezensac,” (1910), Ewald Mataré’s, “Lurking Cat,” (1928), Karel Niestrath’s, “Hungry Girl,” (1925), Emil Nolde’s, “Still-Life with Wooden Figure,” (1911), “Red-Haired Girl,” (1919) and, “Milk Cows,” (1913), Christian Rohlfs’s, “The Towers of Soest,” (1916) and, “Acrobats,” (1916), Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s, “Pharisees,” (1912) and Lasar Segall’s, “The Eternal Wanderers,” (1919).

As in the original exhibition, galleries are dedicated to individual themes including works Nazis considered blasphemous, works they deemed insulting to the farmers, soldiers and women of Germany and works by Jewish artists. The installation also recreates the propaganda that covered the gallery walls at the original like, “Revelation of the Jewish Racial Soul,” “Nature as Seen by Sick Minds,” and, “In Germany, the Negro Becomes the Racial Ideal of Degenerate Art.” In an effort to compare and contrast what was considered official Nazi art and what was officially considered degenerate, the first gallery features Adolf Ziegler’s triptych, “The Four Elements,” (1937), a figurative work depicting four young, nude, blond women which actually hung over Hitler’s mantel hung side-by-side with Max Beckmann’s triptych, “Departure” (1932), an Expressionist masterpiece depicting scenes of human torture in the side panels and a cluster of stylized, mysteriously allegorical figures waiting to sail away in a small boat at the center.

 

"Departure" (1932) - Max Beckmann

“Departure” (1932) – Max Beckmann

“Portrait of Max Herrmann-Neisse” (1925) - George Grosz

“Portrait of Max Herrmann-Neisse” (1925) – George Grosz

“Winter Landscape in Moonlight” (1919) - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

“Winter Landscape in Moonlight” (1919) – Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

 

Official Exhibition Site

 

NEUE GALERIE

1048 FIFTH AVENUE @ 86TH STREET

NEW YORK, NY 10021

212-628-6200

 

 

 

 

 

 

Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937

 

VISITING HOURS:

OPEN THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY AND MONDAY FROM 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M.

CLOSED TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY.

 

ADMISSION:

$20 FOR AN ADULT TICKET.

$10 FOR A STUDENT TICKET.

$10 FOR A SENIOR TICKET (65 AND OLDER).

FREE FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH 6 P.M. TO 8 P.M.

CHILDREN UNDER 12 NOT ADMITTED.

CHILDREN 12 TO 16 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT.

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE DURING REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS FOR SAME-DAY ENTRY.

THE MUSEUM DOES NOT OFFER TIMED TICKETS, ADVANCE TICKETS OR ONLINE TICKETS.

 


 

 

 

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