Test your knowledge with a quiz
- The persecution of political adversaries and marginalized groups of people began years before the start of World War II. Witnessing the rise of fascism during the 1930s, many artists and intellectuals sensed the dangers of remaining in Germany and emigrated to America.
- In 1937, the opening of the Degenerate Art exhibition represented a fascist attack on art and culture. It included work by many artists who had been politically engaged and often critical of the National Socialist party. Meant to ridicule the international avant-garde, the exhibition highlighted modernism as an example of a sick (or degenerate) society.
- As an expressionist artist, George Grosz combines elements of both abstraction and representational figure painting to evoke sensations of reflection and memory.
More to think about
With the Degenerate Art exhibition, the Nazis openly criticized artists who expressed differing political viewpoints or challenged artistic traditions with modernist experiments. Why do you think totalitarian governments would think it necessary to censor and suppress the work of modern artists?