Liebe [Love] / 1931 / Drawing, collage / 8.5”x8.25” / National Gallery of Australia
In the summer of 1918, while Höch and [her lover of the time, Austrian-born artist Raoul Hausmann] were on vacation at the Ostsee, they claimed to have discovered the principle of photomontage in the form of the cut-and-paste images that soldiers on the front sent to their families. This find would significantly affect Höch’s artistic production, for photomontage became the preferred medium for her shrewd social and political critiques of the 1920s.
While she may have been remembered by her bombastic Dada colleagues for her “sandwiches, beer and coffee”, her lifetime of artistic practice reveals a vital and critical woman who could magically collide disparate reproductions of needlepoint patterns, political figures, film stars, animal life and non-Western artifacts into explorations of androgyny, Aryan activity, gender roles, imperialism, race and lesbianism.
Hoch began the Love series as early as 1923, and worked on it intermittently through about 1931. Each of the six or seven works in this series depict sexuality in some way. My understanding is that the following pieces were in this series:
Love in the Bush (1925)
Peasant Wedding Couple (1931)
The Coquette I (1923-1925)
The Coquette II (c.1925)
The Large Step (1931)
MoMA’s catalog for their 1997 exhibition “The photomontages of Hannah Höch” is available to download in pdf format~