Germany in the 1920s is the subject of an exhibition at the Center Pompidou

Exploring the German society of the Weimar Republic, the show features works by New Objectivity and photographs by August Sander

Semi-nua II, 1926, Alexander Kanoldt,, exposição Alemanha nos anos 1920.
half naked II, 1926, Alexander Kanoldt, exhibition Germany in the 1920s.

Germany/ 1920s /New Objectivity/ August Sander, on display at the Center Pompidou, is a large-scale exhibition focused on the socio-cultural panorama of Germany in the 1920s. history of this delicate period faced by Germany.

Amidst the sad scenario of humiliation, defeat and economic crisis, some German artists broke with expressionism, provoking it with an opposite movement, which discarded the abstract, romantic and idealistic tendencies of expressionism and started to focus on the objectivity of the world. The artists of this movement had an appreciation for the portrait and resumed a realist tendency when portraying people of their time.

Retrato da jornalista Sylvia Von Harden, 1926, Otto Dix, exposição Alemanha nos anos 1920.
Portrait of journalist Sylvia Von Harden, 1926, Otto Dix, exhibition Germany in the 1920s.

However, these portraits are satirized, exaggerated and emphasize the "ugly", something that can be understood as a behavior resulting from the "culture of shame" that took the spirit of the German people. In 1925, Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, director of the Art Museum of the city of Mannheim, organized an exhibition with works of this new movement and entitled it “New Objectivity”, as the movement came to be known.

Autorretrato de Smoking, 1927, Max Beckmann, exposição Alemanha nos anos 1920.
tuxedo self portrait, 1927, Max Beckmann, exhibition Germany in the 1920s.

Among the main names of this movement are Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Alexander Kanoldt and Jeanne Mammen. Although it was relatively brief, since the new objectivity ends in 1933 with the end of the Weimer Republic, the works of this artistic current are one of the greatest legacies of modern art in Germany even after being considered “degenerate art” during the Nazi regime.

Jovem menina em um trailer, 1926–1932, August Sander. (Reprodução)
Young girl in a trailer, 1926–1932, August Sander. (Reproduction)

To accompany and contextualize the exhibition, a large anthology of photographs by the German photographer August Sander entitled Twentieth century men. In clear correspondence with the socio-cultural categories and groups defined by Sander, both the paintings and the photographs are organized into eight thematic sections establishing a dialogue with each other.

O Pianista, 1925, August Sander. (Reprodução)
The pianist, 1925, August Sander. (Reproduction)

Both the portraits captured by Sander's lens and the paintings made by the artists of the new objectivity seem to place before the viewer not only the people portrayed, but also the essence of each one of them, so that the works are a historical documentation of the people of the time. and the feelings that surrounded them.


Germany in the 1920s 

Location: Center Pompidou 

Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France

Date: Until September 5, 2022

Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 11 am to 9 pm

Ticket: 11 – 14 euros 

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