Sunday, April 29, 2018

Taste of transience

"The mad square: modernity in German art 1910-37 presents the key avant-garde movements that emerged in Germany during the early 20th century. [...] Berlin was a potent stimulant for these artists, providing a thriving, vibrant, cosmopolitan culture and generating a kind of nervous, creative energy that sustained artists during the prewar years until the early 1930s."

Edmund Capon, Art Gallery of New South Wales

"All attempts to make the Weimar Republic look more firmly established and stable, even before the world economic cataclysm broke its back, are historical whistling in the dark. It moved briefly through the debris of a dead but unburied past towards a sudden but expected end and an unknown future. [...]
 Even its few years of 'normality' rested on the temporary quiescence of a volcano that could have erupted at any time. The great man of the theatre, Max Reinhardt, knew this. 'What I love,' he said, 'is the taste of transience on the tongue - every year might be the last.' It gave Weimar culture a unique tang. It sharpened a bitter creativity, a contempt for the present, an intelligence unrestricted by convention, until the sudden and irrevocable death."

Eric Hobsbawm

The Mad Square
Modernity in German art 1910-37
Art Gallery NSW, Prestel 2011

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