The epic tale of the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse Printmaking Program. The Printmaking program is directed by Joel Elgin and features the odd collection of the many PrintFools who enroll, print and exist from semester to semester in the Shop of Tears.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Degenerate Art (Entartete Kunst )

Emil Nolde: The Prophet. Original woodcut, 1916. Original edition size unknown

Continue to be awake Print Fools.
We have looked at printmakers who attempted to change politics. Beware of politics that change printmakers.

Poor Emile Nolde...

Emil Nolde: Hamburg, Pier" etching
read this:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=205237
Emil Nolde: Tischgesellschaft / Dinner party (Schieffler and Mosell 38 iv, Davis-Riffkind 2113). Original etching on wove paper, 1906

Nolde fell under the influence of the Nazi's because he wasn't politically aware. Go here
(http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=53710824)
and read the entry titled "The Unpainted Pictures".

Nolde eventually saw the light but other artists (yes, even a printmaker) embraced stupidity and evil:

Herbert Schimkowitz: "Adolf Hitler". Woodcut print, 15,5 x 11 cm.

Maximilian Spilhaczek: "Adolf Hitler". Pencil on paper, appr. 90 x 65 cm

Click the title post to read more about Degenerate Art (Entartete Kunst ),
click here to learn more about Nazi Approved Art
http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/ARTS/artReich.htm

27 comments:

S said...

Art and Politics....two things Hitler and I could never see eye to eye on.
There is just no getting around the fact that they are one and the same...when done well they evoke an emotional response, usually caused by the omitting of important details.
ART GOOD, HITLER BAD.

ellen said...

Some really cool prints. Too bad the printmakers were so totally deluded (along with every other nazi).

I don't believe in art censorship, but still...the pro-nazi artwork really pisses me off.
Racist bastards.

Bec★ said...

printmaking is about passion and conviction...for whatever the artist believes in and holds true. nolde represented an artist who was determined to follow his own path, whether or not everyone else was doing it. powerful stuff.

katelyn said...

Although I may not be thrilled about the subject of the prints....i was excited to see something related to my series, and see the other side of things..

Mallory_Heesch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mallory_Heesch said...

http://www.towson.edu/heartfield/
images/Don't_Worry_Vegetarian.jpg

not sure if the address will work or not, but try to google-image.

The Caption means: "Dont be frightened, he's a vegetarian" ... I VIVIDLY remember seeing this one in an Art History class I took. It's a photomontage by John Heartfield (formerly known as Helmut Herzfelde) who used his art to attack Hitler and the Nazi party. It took guts to openly defy such a powerful and vicious group...

Mark K said...

Prints are well done, but bad belief and subject behind them. I agree with Becca though in that he was doing work that he was passionate about, which is important.

Erica said...

its crazy how society/politics are seen so differently in the era of the artist. it does show what life was then--good way to learn from the past!

Nels said...

So many times in history artists have been used for propaganda purposes. As a result of the collapse of the financial system during the Great Depression there was a movement by the American Communist party that enlisted many artists to generate propaganda critical of capitalism. The Russians produced much propaganda art, and even today China and North Korea are using artists for propaganda purposes. This shows the power of art. Unfortunately it is not how art should be used, and is the exact opposite of how we are learning to use art this semester in printmaking.

Allison Bayer said...

It's interesting to see these things after discussing a lot of political and propaganda based art in sloan's class US History...
Sloan brought up a good point. Is making propaganda in art selling out?

On the other hand. I have to agree with Bec - as much as it disgusts me to say this - he felt strongly about something and made art through it. Content is a powerful thing to the artist - as we discussed in class today you can't have art without content - even if it's a horrible way to view the world.

Erin said...

Great link Mallory! I really loved Heartfield's work! Everybody has a right to an opinion, even Nazi artists. I personally find Heartfields work to be far more interesting then any of the pro-Nazi art because it's not restriced and is rooted in a deeper, more pure passion than racism.

zoe said...

what a crazy world... can you imagine living during that time??? insane. just disgusting.

beth said...

This makes me want to print wood cuts.. opening new territory.. ya know, maybe i'll do it in all my spare time

Allison B said...

They were some interesting prints...don't agree with the subject matter but it sure gets you to think about that era and the thought process behind the nazi regime. Truely horrific.

libbyhansen said...

I agree with Becca, printmaking is about passion and conviction. These passions and convictions do not take us all to the same place and we do not all hold the same beliefs to be true. These prints are interesting and frightening. It is similar to a car wreck, we do not want to stare, but we cannot look away. I find myself studying the images of Hitler and wondering more so about the what the hell went on in his head and how did his ideas originate? I hear and see little things among my students and sometimes wonder, huh? What was his mother like?

Art doesn't always provide the answers, sometimes it creates the questions that need to be asked.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that art was extremely censored and that artist lived in fear if there opinions are not part of the majority. It takes someone very brave to point out things wrong with a very powerful entity, or to go against the majority. Hitler really knew how to control the people by "limiting" the media, which thus influences the people. it is something to think about in society today. Anyways though subjects are not of my taste they are well done technically

Meagan said...

I agree with Beth on the wood cuts, I would like to explore those more and I agree with jumpy that it is sad how their art was censored.

Sarah said...

wow this is really intense. It's crazy to try to understand the thoughts of pro-nazi artists and their motives for creating the art and propaganda that they did. It makes me wonder if they were just unaware of the political situation that was the Holocaust, or manipulated into supporting the Third Reich, or if they created art that Hitler favored solely for the money, support and resources those in power could offer them. If so, it's crazy that these artists were willing to give up their personal voice and beliefs just to follow what the people in power were doing. SO interesting...

carly said...

it's like when you feel so strongly opinionated about something and see propaganda for the anti-you view, you kinda automatically hate it? Then you sit there and think, do i just hate this cause it's not me, or is it actually good art? Looking at the nazi pictures makes me cringe, they are creepy; i hate them but they are damned good. What is even MORE creepy to me is imagining them in their printshop completely brainwashed carving away at these prints.

carly said...

and i just have to say, i cant get enough of the cannonball press, namely michael houston. so hilarious!!! (haha i didnt know where to post that comment..)

mingo said...

it is crazy to hink f living back in that time period...i have a feeling that if i lived back then and in Germany, i wouldnt have ever started taking art. i would hope that i wouldnt be influenced by the times for the worse

Caitlin said...

i love woodcuts.

this is all very interesting. and yes, we can all agree that Nazis are bad, but as bad as they were they believed in what they were doing. It's really not much different from our political prints this semester. Some (including myself) have very strong opinions and political affiliations, but what if, down the line, we realize we're wrong?

libbyhansen said...

Well said Caitlin.

Keriann said...

Very interesting prints. I really liked how the woodcuts look! I wish I knew what it was like to live in that time so I could understand how the artists felt better, instead of only being able to think about how wrong what was going on in that time was!

britt luecke said...

Interesting prints even though the subject matter isn't all that uplifting..they have a lot of passion behind them!

mao said...

I agree with Becca that we should create art in which we are passionate about. We we would to ban art from artists who were working for Hitler, we would also be censoring art as well. Propaganda isn't a new idea, it can be traced back to as far as the Romans, when Roman empire commisioned art to idealize themselves and for propaganda purposes (I actually have learned something from art history).

DaniL said...

I saw prints from just about all of the degenerate artists named in Madison over the summer. That was awesome, because I heart German expressionists. I believe that Emile Nolde woodcut was there.

Anyway, good conversation going on here! I was intrigued by Allison's question. I think that making propaganda in art is only selling out if you're doing it despite your own beliefs. Like if someone offered me a lot of money to make pro-war prints and i did it, that would be selling out.

What Nels said made me think, too, kind of going along with the propaganda/selling out thing-Do you think that advertising and things of the like are a way of using art as propaganda in america today? Marketers know how to use visuals to draw people in and manipulate them through some sort of creating process, and the propaganda is for massive consumption. I hope I'm making sense; it was just a thought.