German Expressionism: Art and Society

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9780847820788: German Expressionism: Art and Society
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Highlights the visual art, films, theater, and architecture of German Expressionism.

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The 13 essays in this sophisticated book, the catalog of an exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi, in Venice, cover extensive historical and philosophical ground: expressionism in war and revolution, expressionist architecture, expressionist manifestoes and critical writing, and more. Although the text is trapped in eyestrain-size type and printed in dense blocks, it's worth getting out the magnifying glass and reading it anyway, flipping back and forth to the many finely reproduced color plates for more immediate rewards. The sections on expressionist architecture are especially good, with plates showing Rudolf Steiner's Goetheanum in sketches and at completion. The various connections among Antonio Gaudi, Peter Behrens, Erich Mendelssohn, and others are thoughtfully delineated.

From Library Journal:

In complexity and richness, German art is probably second only to American art in the postwar era, yet it remains sadly underexamined and -represented in American institutions. In part this may be owing to an understandable chauvinism, but it also stems from the diversity of the artists in question and the necessity of examining their work as a part of broader cultural entanglements. Given German's history, there can be no art for art's sake within its borders. This sweeping catalog to a show, "German Images," at the 47th Berliner Festwochen is remarkable for its unflinching examination of the work of 88 artists on these terms. Encompassing more than six decades, from a starting point of 1933, 76 essays address individual artists and theoretical issues. While individual essays, especially those examining specific projects, are fascinating, the book only coalesces after a close, thorough reading, which, given the often dense writing and stilted translations, few lay readers will be willing to undertake. Still, this is essential primary research for all academic art collections, and the compelling subject and more than 700 illustrations recommend it for larger public libraries. The fourth work from curator Barron on the German art of the interwar years (after German Expressionism, 1915-1925, 1988. o.p.; Degenerate Art, LJ 8/91; and Exiles + Emigres, LJ 4/15/97), German Expressionism presents a more cohesive and readable story without shirking on social context. More than 150 pages of color plates are preceded by about a dozen essays, particularly noteworthy for their examination of film, music, drama, the book arts, and even architecture. Sixty pages of biographies, chronologies, and other end matter will aid students and researchers at all levels. For medium and large public and academic libraries.?Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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