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John Heartfield (1891 - 1968)

Lot 103: JOHN HEARTFIELD (1891-1968)


April 8, 1993
New York, NY, US

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Der friedfertige Raubfisch (The Peaceful Fish of Prey) Gelatin silver print. circa 1960. 36 5/8 x 25 7/8 in. Framed. LITERATURE The following references are used for this and the next four lots: "AIZ" (Arbeiter-Illustriete Zeitung or Worker's Illustrated Paper 1930-36) "VI" (Volks Illustriete 1936-38) David Evans, "John Heartfield AIZ/VI 1930-38," New York: Kent Gallery, 1992 ("Kent") Wieland Herzfelde, "John Heartfield Leben und Werk," Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst, 1962 ("Leben und Werk") Peter Pachnicke and Klaus Honnef, editors, "John Heartfield," New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992 ("John Heartfield") Deutche Akademie der Kunste, "John Heartfield Photomontages," 1969 (exhibition catalogue at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London) "VI" 1937, Number 19, May 12, p. 307; "Kent," p. 452; "Leben und Werk," p. 215, "John Heartfield," p. 174. This and the following three lots were exhibited by Heartfield in Europe in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Produced from the original collages and layouts he made for "AIZ" in Berlin and "VI" in Prague from 1930 to 1938, they represent an extension of his working technique in photomontage. Heartfield often photographed his montages as part of the process of creating the final image for publication. By photographing the collage and adding text or additional imagery to the photograph, it preserved the original so that it might be reworked at a later date or recycled for other purposes. (See Graphics International LTD., Catalogue 5, 1976, p. 110) Heartfield's contribution to Dada, the avant-garde in Europe and his position as a seminal contributor to the anti-Fascist, anti-Nazi publications of "AIZ" and "VI" is being reestablished in a retrospective now travelling through Europe and, for the first time, in the United States. The venues include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Virtually all of Heartfield's archive of collages and graphic design was willed to the Akademie der Kunst in then, East Berlin. "This montage was illustrated in a report in the Nazi organ" Volkischer Beobacther "on 14 October 1937 as an example of the anti-German art being openly exhibited in Prague. The hybrid clearly has Goring's stomach."- -Kent, p. 452.

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