Art, Books & Culture Group meeting, Saturday 25th June, 11.15am at The Beecroft Gallery: “Art in 1930s Germany”

Our next Art, Books & Culture meeting will be on Saturday 25th June, (11.15am-12.45pm) – please note I’ve changed the time slightly to start 11.15am so that we don’t have to wait around outside! – at the Beecroft Gallery, Southend.

In our discussions on Surrealism last month, we noted recent reports from The Guardian and Hyperallergic telling how a painting by Yves Tanguy, thought lost, had been found and restored.

Yves Tanguy: Fraud in the Garden [1930; private]

The painting’s disappearance was due to being attacked when on exhibition in 1930. The Hyperallergic article says:

On the night of December 30, 1930, members of the far-right groups the League of Patriots and the Anti-Semitic League of France raided Studio 28, an arthouse [theatre] in Paris’s artists’ district of Montmartre. They savagely attacked Tanguy’s 1930 masterpiece “Fraud in the Garden” in the cinema’s lobby, along with other works by Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, and Joan Miró.

The extremist groups were outraged at the screening of Luis Buñuel’s L’Age D’Or (1930), an avant-garde comedy satirizing the hypocrisy of the sexual mores of the bourgeois society and the Catholic Church. Co-written with Dalí, Buñuel’s surrealist film was rife with blasphemous and erotic imagery, including a sequence based on the Marquis de Sade’s novel 120 Days of Sodom featuring Jesus as a bloodthirsty sadist.

The assailants shouted “We’ll show you that there are still Christians in France!” and “Death to Jews!”

And there is a photograph of the attacked paintings:

That was in 1930 and, as we know, the right wing in Europe increased its power and domain throughout the decade particularly with Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany. Quite by chance, I discovered in the Archive at Tate Britain, the leaflet on the left here:

The “Exhibition of German 20th-century Art” was in London, 1938; a direct artistic riposte to Hitler’s staging of an exhibition of German modern art in Munich the year under the title “Degenerate Art” (the poster on the right). Our discussion this month, then, will focus both London and Munich exhibitions to explore the art of inter-war Germany and the fate of some of those artists deemed ‘degenerate’.

Our discussions cost £10 to attend (please pay on the door) and include coffee & biscuits – all welcome!


About TheCommonViewer

Independent Researcher: gently exploring the art and artists of early 20th century Britain (with forays elsewhere, in particular Russian Art History); the Art, Books & History Group meets monthly in Southend-on-Sea Twitter: @TheCommonViewer

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