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Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978)

Related: German art - collage - Dada

Grotesk (1963) - Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978)
Foto: Liedtke & Michel
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]


Hannah Höch - born in Gotha, Germany in 1889. From 1912 to 1914 she studied at the College of Arts and Crafts in Berlin under the guidance of the director of the class for glass organization, Harold Bergen. She resumed her studies in 1915, this time entering the graph class of the National Institute of the Museum of Arts and Crafts. Also in 1915, Höch began an influential friendship with Raoul Hausmann, a member of the Berlin Dada movement. Höch's involvement with the Berlin Dadists began in earnest in 1919.

Höch's personal relationship with Hausmann grew from friendship to romantic over time. While this was the first crucial relationship to have bearing on Höch's artistic work, she often reflected upon her relationships in such pieces as Love (http://www.yellowbellywebdesign.com/hoch/love.html) (1926). Some of Höch's work suggests that she carried on lesbian relationships during her life as well romantic relationships with men. Höch and Hausmann separated in 1922, at which point Höch was well on her way to becoming an artist in her own right, independent of her involvement with Hausmann. Incidentally, it was during Höch's relationship with Hausmann that both artists entered into the world of collage, pioneering what was to become a completely new artform.

Höch made more influential friendships over the years, with Kurt Schwitters and Piet Mondrian among others. Schwitters, along with Höch, was one of the first pioneers of the artform that would come to be known as photomontage.

Höch's most famous piece is Cut With The Kitchen Knife (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/davepalmer/cutandpaste/hoch_big1.html), a critique on Weimar Germany in 1919. This piece combines images from newspapers of the time re-created to make a new statement about life and art in the Dada movement.

Hannah Höch died in Berlin in 1978. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_H%F6ch [Mar 2005]

Die Kokette I (The Coquette I) - Hannah Höch

Die Kokette I (The Coquette I) - Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978)
1923 - 25
Photo: Liedtke & Michel
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

In Love Höch mockingly looks at conventional relationships of enraptured love between men and women.

Hoch used images of a popular dolls that at the time were mass produced and marketed as being innocent, and full of wonderment. The doll's eye looms large and her lips portay a nice polite smile, yet it has a strange sinister looking face enhanced by the fact that it has been cut at odd angles. On the other hand we see a man staring not directly at the doll, but outwardly. The doll is used to represent the modern women's altered ego. Both male and female seem to be caught in a mechanized state of mind presumably the effects of enraptured love. --http://www.yellowbellywebdesign.com/hoch/love.html [Mar 2005]

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