New Objectivity

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For the architectural aspects of this movement, see New Objectivity (architecture). New Objectivity_sentence_0

The New Objectivity (in German: Neue Sachlichkeit) was a movement in German art that arose during the 1920s as a reaction against expressionism. New Objectivity_sentence_1

The term was coined by Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, the director of the Kunsthalle in Mannheim, who used it as the title of an art exhibition staged in 1925 to showcase artists who were working in a post-expressionist spirit. New Objectivity_sentence_2

As these artists—who included Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Christian Schad, Rudolf Schlichter and Jeanne Mammen—rejected the self-involvement and romantic longings of the expressionists, Weimar intellectuals in general made a call to arms for public collaboration, engagement, and rejection of romantic idealism. New Objectivity_sentence_3

Although principally describing a tendency in German painting, the term took a life of its own and came to characterize the attitude of public life in Weimar Germany as well as the art, literature, music, and architecture created to adapt to it. New Objectivity_sentence_4

Rather than some goal of philosophical objectivity, it was meant to imply a turn towards practical engagement with the world—an all-business attitude, understood by Germans as intrinsically American. New Objectivity_sentence_5

The movement essentially ended in 1933 with the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis to power. New Objectivity_sentence_6

Meaning New Objectivity_section_0

Although "New Objectivity" has been the most common translation of "Neue Sachlichkeit", other translations have included "New Matter-of-factness", "New Resignation", "New Sobriety", and "New Dispassion". New Objectivity_sentence_7

The art historian Dennis Crockett says there is no direct English translation, and breaks down the meaning in the original German: New Objectivity_sentence_8

In particular, Crockett argues against the view implied by the translation of "New Resignation", which he says is a popular misunderstanding of the attitude it describes. New Objectivity_sentence_9

The idea that it conveys resignation comes from the notion that the age of great socialist revolutions was over and that the left-leaning intellectuals who were living in Germany at the time wanted to adapt themselves to the social order represented in the Weimar Republic. New Objectivity_sentence_10

Crockett says the art of the Neue Sachlichkeit was meant to be more forward in political action than the modes of Expressionism it was turning against: "The Neue Sachlichkeit is Americanism, cult of the objective, the hard fact, the predilection for functional work, professional conscientiousness, and usefulness." New Objectivity_sentence_11

Background New Objectivity_section_1

Main article: Post-expressionism New Objectivity_sentence_12

Leading up to World War I, much of the art world was under the influence of Futurism and Expressionism, both of which abandoned any sense of order or commitment to objectivity or tradition. New Objectivity_sentence_13

Expressionism was in particular the dominant form of art in Germany, and it was represented in many different facets of public life—in dance, in theater, in painting, in architecture, in poetry, and in literature. New Objectivity_sentence_14

Expressionists abandoned nature and sought to express emotional experience, often centering their art around inner turmoil (angst), whether in reaction to the modern world, to alienation from society, or in the creation of personal identity. New Objectivity_sentence_15

In concert with this evocation of angst and unease with bourgeois life, expressionists also echoed some of the same feelings of revolution as did Futurists. New Objectivity_sentence_16

This is evidenced by a 1919 anthology of expressionist poetry titled Menschheitsdämmerung, which translates to “Twilight of Humanity”—meant to suggest that humanity was in a twilight; that there was an imminent demise of some old way of being and beneath it the urgings of a new dawning. New Objectivity_sentence_17

Critics of expressionism came from many circles. New Objectivity_sentence_18

From the left, a strong critique began with Dadaism. New Objectivity_sentence_19

The early exponents of Dada had been drawn together in Switzerland, a neutral country in the war, and seeing their common cause, wanted to use their art as a form of moral and cultural protest—they saw shaking off the constraints of artistic language in the same way they saw their refusal of national boundaries. New Objectivity_sentence_20

They wanted to use their art in order to express political outrage and encourage political action. New Objectivity_sentence_21

Expressionism, to Dadaists, expressed all of the angst and anxieties of society, but was helpless to do anything about it. New Objectivity_sentence_22

Bertolt Brecht, a German dramatist, launched another early critique of expressionism, referring to it as constrained and superficial. New Objectivity_sentence_23

Just as in politics Germany had a new parliament but lacked parliamentarians, he argued, in literature there was an expression of delight in ideas, but no new ideas, and in theater a "will to drama", but no real drama. New Objectivity_sentence_24

His early plays, Baal and Trommeln in der Nacht (Drums in the Night) express repudiations of fashionable interest in Expressionism. New Objectivity_sentence_25

After the destruction of the war, more conservative critics gained force particularly in their critique of the style of expressionism. New Objectivity_sentence_26

Throughout Europe a return to order in the arts resulted in neoclassical works by modernists such as Picasso and Stravinsky, and a turn away from abstraction by many artists, for example Matisse and Metzinger. New Objectivity_sentence_27

The return to order was especially pervasive in Italy. New Objectivity_sentence_28

Because of travel restrictions, German artists in 1919–22 had little knowledge of contemporary trends in French art; Henri Rousseau, who died in 1910, was the French painter whose influence was most apparent in the works of the New Objectivity. New Objectivity_sentence_29

However, some of the Germans found important inspiration in the pages of the Italian magazine Valori plastici, which featured photographs of recent paintings by Italian classical realists. New Objectivity_sentence_30

Pictorial art New Objectivity_section_2

Verists and classicists New Objectivity_section_3

Hartlaub first used the term in 1923 in a letter he sent to colleagues describing an exhibition he was planning. New Objectivity_sentence_31

In his subsequent article, "Introduction to 'New Objectivity': German Painting since Expressionism", Hartlaub explained, New Objectivity_sentence_32

The New Objectivity was composed of two tendencies which Hartlaub characterized in terms of a left and right wing: on the left were the verists, who "tear the objective form of the world of contemporary facts and represent current experience in its tempo and fevered temperature"; and on the right the classicists, who "search more for the object of timeless ability to embody the external laws of existence in the artistic sphere". New Objectivity_sentence_33

The verists' vehement form of realism emphasized the ugly and sordid. New Objectivity_sentence_34

Their art was raw, provocative, and harshly satirical. New Objectivity_sentence_35

George Grosz and Otto Dix are considered the most important of the verists. New Objectivity_sentence_36

The verists developed Dada's abandonment of any pictoral rules or artistic language into a “satirical hyperrealism”, as termed by Raoul Hausmann, and of which the best known examples are the graphical works and photo-montages of John Heartfield. New Objectivity_sentence_37

Use of collage in these works became a compositional principle to blend reality and art, as if to suggest that to record the facts of reality was to go beyond the most simple appearances of things. New Objectivity_sentence_38

This later developed into portraits and scenes by artists such as Grosz, Dix, and Rudolf Schlichter. New Objectivity_sentence_39

Portraits would give emphasis to particular features or objects that were seen as distinctive aspects of the person depicted. New Objectivity_sentence_40

Satirical scenes often depicted a madness behind what was happening, depicting the participants as cartoon-like. New Objectivity_sentence_41

Other verists, like Christian Schad, depicted reality with a clinical precision, which suggested both an empirical detachment and intimate knowledge of the subject. New Objectivity_sentence_42

Schad's paintings are characterized by "an artistic perception so sharp that it seems to cut beneath the skin", according to the art critic Wieland Schmied. New Objectivity_sentence_43

Often, psychological elements were introduced in his work, which suggested an underlying unconscious reality. New Objectivity_sentence_44

Max Beckmann, who is sometimes called an expressionist although he never considered himself part of any movement, was considered by Hartlaub to be a verist and the most important artist of Neue Sachlichkeit. New Objectivity_sentence_45

Compared to the verists, the classicists more clearly exemplify the "return to order" that arose in the arts throughout Europe. New Objectivity_sentence_46

The classicists included Georg Schrimpf, Alexander Kanoldt, Carlo Mense, Heinrich Maria Davringhausen, and Wilhelm Heise. New Objectivity_sentence_47

The sources of their inspiration included 19th-century art, the Italian metaphysical painters, the artists of Novecento Italiano, and Henri Rousseau. New Objectivity_sentence_48

The classicists are best understood by Franz Roh's term Magic Realism, though Roh originally intended "magical realism" to be synonymous with the Neue Sachlichkeit as a whole. New Objectivity_sentence_49

For Roh, as a reaction to expressionism, the idea was to declare “[that] the autonomy of the objective world around us was once more to be enjoyed; the wonder of matter that could crystallize into objects was to be seen anew.” With the term, he was emphasizing the “magic” of the normal world as it presents itself to us—how, when we really look at everyday objects, they can appear strange and fantastic. New Objectivity_sentence_50

Regional groups New Objectivity_section_4

Most of the artists of the New Objectivity did not travel widely, and stylistic tendencies were related to geography. New Objectivity_sentence_51

While the classicists were based mostly in Munich, the verists worked mainly in Berlin (Grosz, Dix, Schlichter, and Schad); Dresden (Dix, Hans Grundig, Wilhelm Lachnit and others); and Karlsruhe (Karl Hubbuch, Georg Scholz, and Wilhelm Schnarrenberger). New Objectivity_sentence_52

In Cologne, a constructivist group was led by Franz Wilhelm Seiwert and Heinrich Hoerle. New Objectivity_sentence_53

Also from Cologne was Anton Räderscheidt, who after a brief constructivist phase became influenced by Antonio Donghi and the metaphysical artists. New Objectivity_sentence_54

Franz Radziwill, who painted ominous landscapes, lived in relative isolation in , a small coastal town. New Objectivity_sentence_55

Carl Grossberg became a painter after studying architecture in Aachen and Darmstadt and is noted for his clinical rendering of industrial technology. New Objectivity_sentence_56

Photography New Objectivity_section_5

Albert Renger-Patzsch and August Sander are leading representatives of the "New Photography" movement, which brought a sharply focused, documentary quality to the photographic art where previously the self-consciously poetic had held sway. New Objectivity_sentence_57

Some other related projects as Neues Sehen, coexisted at the same moment. New Objectivity_sentence_58

Karl Blossfeldt's plant photography is also often described as being a variation on New Objectivity. New Objectivity_sentence_59

Architecture New Objectivity_section_6

Main article: New Objectivity (architecture) New Objectivity_sentence_60

New Objectivity in architecture, as in painting and literature, describes German work of the transitional years of the early 1920s in the Weimar culture, as a direct reaction to the stylistic excesses of Expressionist architecture and the change in the national mood. New Objectivity_sentence_61

Architects such as Bruno Taut, Erich Mendelsohn and Hans Poelzig turned to New Objectivity's straightforward, functionally minded, matter-of-fact approach to construction, which became known in Germany as Neues Bauen ("New Building"). New Objectivity_sentence_62

The Neues Bauen movement, flourishing in the brief period between the adoption of the Dawes plan and the rise of the Nazis, encompassed public exhibitions like the Weissenhof Estate, the massive urban planning and public housing projects of Taut and Ernst May, and the influential experiments at the Bauhaus. New Objectivity_sentence_63

Film New Objectivity_section_7

Main article: New Objectivity (film) New Objectivity_sentence_64

In film, New Objectivity reached its high point around 1929. New Objectivity_sentence_65

As a cinematic style, it translated into realistic settings, straightforward camerawork and editing, a tendency to examine inanimate objects as a way to interpret characters and events, a lack of overt emotionalism, and social themes. New Objectivity_sentence_66

The director most associated with the movement is Georg Wilhelm Pabst. New Objectivity_sentence_67

Pabst's films of the 1920s concentrate on social issues such as abortion, prostitution, labor disputes, homosexuality, and addiction. New Objectivity_sentence_68

His cool and critical 1925 Joyless Street is a landmark of the objective style. New Objectivity_sentence_69

Other directors included Ernő Metzner, Berthold Viertel, and Gerhard Lamprecht. New Objectivity_sentence_70

Theater New Objectivity_section_8

Bertolt Brecht, from his opposition to the focus on the individual in expressionist art, began a collaborative method to play production, starting with his Man Equals Man project. New Objectivity_sentence_71

This approach to theater-craft began to be known as "Brechtian'" and the collective of writers and actors who he worked with are known as the "Brechtian collective". New Objectivity_sentence_72

Music New Objectivity_section_9

See also: Neoclassicism (music) New Objectivity_sentence_73

New Objectivity in music, as in the visual arts, rejected the sentimentality of late Romanticism and the emotional agitation of expressionism. New Objectivity_sentence_74

Composer Paul Hindemith may be considered both a New Objectivist and an expressionist, depending on the composition, throughout the 1920s; for example, his wind quintet Kleine Kammermusik Op. 24 No. New Objectivity_sentence_75

2 (1922) was designed as Gebrauchsmusik; one may compare his operas Sancta Susanna (part of an expressionist trilogy) and Neues vom Tage (a parody of modern life). New Objectivity_sentence_76

His music typically harkens back to baroque models and makes use of traditional forms and stable polyphonic structures, together with modern dissonance and jazz-inflected rhythms. New Objectivity_sentence_77

Ernst Toch and Kurt Weill also composed New Objectivist music during the 1920s. New Objectivity_sentence_78

Though known late in life for his austere interpretations of the classics, in earlier years, conductor Otto Klemperer was the most prominent to ally himself with this movement. New Objectivity_sentence_79

Legacy New Objectivity_section_10

The New Objectivity movement is usually considered to have ended at the fall of the Weimar Republic when the National Socialists under Adolf Hitler seized power in January 1933. New Objectivity_sentence_80

The Nazi authorities condemned much of the work of the New Objectivity as "degenerate art", so that works were seized and destroyed and many artists were forbidden to exhibit. New Objectivity_sentence_81

A few, including Karl Hubbuch, Adolf Uzarski, and Otto Nagel, were among the artists entirely forbidden to paint. New Objectivity_sentence_82

While some of the major figures of the movement went into exile, they did not carry on painting in the same manner. New Objectivity_sentence_83

George Grosz emigrated to America and adopted a romantic style, and Max Beckmann's work by the time he left Germany in 1937 was, by Franz Roh's definitions, expressionism. New Objectivity_sentence_84

The influence of New Objectivity outside of Germany can be seen in the work of artists like Balthus, Salvador Dalí (in such early works as his Portrait of Luis Buñuel of 1924), Auguste Herbin, Maruja Mallo, Cagnaccio di San Pietro, Grant Wood, Adamson-Eric, and Juhan Muks. New Objectivity_sentence_85

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Objectivity.