- Feb 2017
Die Brücke Institute
An important historical note here: most of the Die Brücke artists and their later avant-garde peers who fell under the various "-isms" such as Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, etc. were eventually persecuted by the Nazis, who believed the kind of art work seen above (Emil Nolde, Masks, 1911) to be "degenerate," which I think fits well into the dialogue about the "normalcy" of the body in creating socio-political standards. Artists such as Braque, Beckmann, Chagall, Dix, Grosz, Kandinsky, Klee, Matisse, Munch, and Picasso were all considered degenerate by the racially-obsessed Nazis because of the way they depicted the composition of the human body. Hitler looked to classical models, specifically Greek and Roman traditions, as examples toward which the German Volk should strive, because their ideal exterior forms embodied the inner Nazi idea of racial superiority, or normalcy. Modernists celebrated subjective and unique perspectives of reality (including, and especially the body), which, unfortunately for them, did not fit into the promotion of a singularly molded and racially uniform German state.