Museo Correr, Venice

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Museo Correr, Venice
Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic 1919 – 1933
Press Conference:  Wednesday April 29, 2015 | 11 am

Exhibition Curator Stephanie Barron,  and Senior Curator of Modern Art at LACMA
May 1 – August 30, 2015
Second Floor Piazza San Marco Venezia
Vaporetto: Route 1 or Route 2
alight at Vallaresso or San Zaccaria

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Otto Dix  Portait of the Lawyer Hugo Simons (Porträt des Rechtsanwalts Hugo Simons), 1925

Tempera and oil on plywood 100.3 × 70.3 cm

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts © Otto Dix, by SIAE 2015

This new turn to realism, best recognized by a 1925 exhibition in Mannheim, Neue Sachlichkeit (of
which New Objectivity is the English translation), has at times been called Post-Expressionism,
neo-naturalism, Verism, and Magic Realism. The diverse group of artists associated with this new
realism was not unified by manifesto, political tendency, or geography, they shared a skepticism
regarding the direction Germany society was taking in the years following World War I and an
awareness of the human isolation these changes brought about.
Germany’s financial, sociopolitical, and emotional defeat in WWI took a profound toll on the nation.
In contrast to their Expressionist predecessors—who had enthusiastically embraced the war
before confronting its harrowing realities on the battlefield—practitioners of the New Objectivity
movement were disillusioned with the complex realities of the new Germany. Digressing from Expressionism’s
penchant for bold, abstract subjectivity, the Weimar Republic’s burgeoning group of
artists favored realism, precision, objective sobriety, and the appropriation of Old Master painting
techniques, including a nostalgic return to portraiture and heightened attention to the appearance
of surface.
New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–1933 is organized into five
thematic sections: Life in Democracy and the Aftermath of the War examines both the polar
conditions dividing Germany’s rising bourgeoisie and those suffered most from the war’s
aftereffects, including maimed war veterans, the unemployed, prostitutes, and victims of political
corruption and violence; The City and the Nature of Landscape addresses the growing
disparity between an increasingly industrialized urbanity and nostalgic longing for the pastoral;
Still Life and Commodities highlights a new form of the traditional still life in which quotidian
objects–often indicative of mass production–are staged to create object-portraits; Man and
Machine looks to artists’ attempts to reconcile the transformative yet dehumanizing effects of
rapid industrialization; and lastly, New Identities: Type and Portraiture showcases a new trend
in portraiture in which subjects are rendered as social typecasts rather than individual subjects.
Stephanie Barron, Exhibition Curator and Senior Curator of Modern Art at LACMA, said,
“Close examinations of this period still yield new insights into a complicated chapter in modern
German art. With very different backgrounds, these artists—some among the most well-known
artists of the century, while others are virtually unknown outside Germany—eschewed emotion,
gesture, and ecstasy, and sought instead to record and unmask the world around them with a
close, impersonal, restrained gaze. Together, they created a collective portrait of a society in uneasy
transition, in images that are as striking today as they were in their own time.”


Christian Schad Germany, 1894 – 1982
Selbstbildnis mit Modell, 1927  Oil on wood 76 x 61.5 cm
Private Collection, Loan by Courtesy of Tate Gallery London
© Bettina Schad, Archiv U. Nachlab & Christian Schad, by SIAE 2015

“There is no doubt that New Objectivity’s many approaches to realism—sometimes critical or satirical;
sometimes chilly and unperturbed, or amazing and magical; other times devoted to rendering
the world in minute detail, or observing it through the distortion produced by the photographic
lens—provided vivid artistic solutions to the challenges of a tumultuous era,” said Gabriella Belli

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August Sander “Bricklayer”, 1928 © Die Photographische Sammlung/
SK Stiftung Kultur – August Sander Archiv, Koln, by SIAE 2015

New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–1933 debuts at Museo Correr
(May 1–August 30, 2015), where it will be on view during the Venice Biennale before traveling to
LACMA in an expanded format in Fall 2015. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated,
scholarly catalogue available—co-edited by Barron and Sabine Eckmann—in both English and Italian

New Objectivity :
Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–1933
The exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
in association with Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.
The exhibition is supported in part by the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne,
the Robert Gore Rifkind Foundation, Philippa Calnan, and Suzanne Deal Booth.
Additional support provided by Margo Leavin and Wendy Stark.
Publication support by The Ahmanson Foundation
and Lloyd and Margit Cotsen.

Museo Correr
Second Floor Piazza San Marco Venezia
Open to the public
May 1st, 2015 – August 30th, 2015 | 10 am – 7 pm (daily)
Route 1 or Route 2
alight at Vallaresso or San Zaccaria

Press information
Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
Press office Riccardo Bon
Villaggio Globale International

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