Saturday, June 16, 2018

The dread-inducing work of Weimar's Jewish artists

By Diane Hall
"Expectation" (1935-1936) by Richard Oelze. Oil on canvas The Museum of Modern Art, New York 
New YORK CITY---Simply by virtue of its focus on German-Austrian art from 1890 to 1940, the walls of New York’s Neue Galerie, founded by the philanthropist Ronald Lauder, can unnerve a visitor with their uneasy mix of visions of beauty and images of radical disruption. The museum’s most recent show, Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s, which closed on May 28 after a three-month run, made the discomfort of that juxtaposition all the more explicit. The predominant feeling throughout Before the Fall was of watching a nightmare unfold through the window of an artist’s studio. Perhaps the prime example was the landscape Expectation, painted in 1935-36 by the surrealist Richard Oelze (1900-1980). [More]
Detail from Felix Nussbaum’s Self-Portrait in the Camp. Wikimedia.