Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Objects as History in Twentieth-Century German Art: Beckmann to Beuys / Edition 1

Objects as History in Twentieth-Century German Art: Beckmann to Beuys / Edition 1

by Peter Chametzky


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This book provides a stimulating overview of twentieth-century German art, focusing on some of the period's key works by Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Hannah Höch, Willi Baumeister, Arno Breker, Joseph Beuys, and Gerhard Richter.
In Peter Chametzky's innovative approach, these works become representatives rather than representations of twentieth-century history. That is, the art here does not simply illustrate an argument, the art is the argument. Chametzky draws on both scholarly and popular sources to demonstrate how the works (and in some cases, the artists themselves) interacted with, and even enacted, historical events, processes, and ideas. He asserts the continued historical role of material art works in an era when less material forms—photography, film, television, video, digital images—have assumed the function of visually depicting contemporary history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520260429
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Peter Chametzky is Professor of Art History and Chair of the Art Department at the University of South Carolina. He is a contributor to The Built Surface: Architecture and the Pictorial Arts from Romanticism to the Twenty-First Century.

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

Art Objects as History

1 Titanic Sinks, Departure Arrives 9

Max Beckmann's Melodramatic Role in the Fall of History Painting and Rise of the Historical Object

2 Lost and Found Dada Objects and Subjects 34

George Grosz, Hannah Hb)sch, and German Jewish Identity

3 Objects of Interpretation 63

4 Absender: ich 94

Willi Baumeister's Anti-Nazi Works as Objects of (S)exchange

5 Sculpture and Crime 136

Arno Breker

6 From Muscle Men to Fatty Remains 159

Joseph Beuys's Sculptural Objects Beyond Objecthood

Conclusion 197

Beyond Beuys: Gerhard Richter's Choice

Notes 217

Bibliography 255

List of Illustrations 269

Index 273

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"An interesting theoretical analysis of German art. Its sources and documentation are abundant. Chametzky's knowledge of German art is impressive."—German Studies Review


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