1992–4 / Oil paint on fiberboard / 96”x48” / Tate Britain
2009 / Acrylic on PVC panel / 61 1/8”x72 7/8”x3 7/8” / Yale University Art Gallery
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~
Lee Krasner (1908-1984), One of the first generation Abstract Expressionist painters
Remedios Varo (1908-1963)
Spanish-Mexican painter known for her contributions to Surrealism and Symbolism
Mark Bradford (Born 1961), African-American painter and mixed-media collage artist
Mickalene Thomas (Born 1971), African-American mixed-media artist, filmmaker, and curator
Barbara Chase-Riboud (Born 1939)
African-American visual artist, novelist, and poet
Purvis Young (1943-2010)
African-American artist blending painting/drawing/collage
Clarence Matthew “Matt” Baker (1921-1959)
Credited as the first successful African-American comic book artist
Betye Saar (Born 1926)
American-American artist known for assemblages and installations
Kruger’s spectacular corpus, spanning four decades, is often described as political—and it is. But just as much it creates these moments of internal identity confusion in which we don’t know if we are acting as victim, oppressor, or witness. Usually, we are all of the above.
Kruger famously—and perhaps, at first, inadvertently—got her training as an artist the hard way: through a full-time job as a magazine designer at Condé Nast, starting out at Mademoiselle. And while some of those early layout techniques of bold graphics inform her work, a pulsating visual-linguistic triple-take keeps all of her pieces so alive that she’s become known for her own immediately identifiable, authoritative style—even if authority is what is being questioned in the authoritative typeface.