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Lifestyle: First major exhibition of Dadaist pioneer Hannah Höch set for Whitechapel

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 January 2014

Um Einen Roten Mund ( About a Red Mouth) by Hannah Hoch

Um Einen Roten Mund ( About a Red Mouth) by Hannah Hoch

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The work of a German artist who helped pioneer experimental styles and witnessed the rise of Nazism will be shown for the first time in the UK at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Für ein Fest gemacht (Made for a Party) by Hannah HochFür ein Fest gemacht (Made for a Party) by Hannah Hoch

Hannah Höch was born in Gotha in 1889, and created some of the most radical art of her time as a member of the Berlin Dada movement.

The exhibition will run from January 15 to March 23, and is the first major UK exhibition of her work.

Höch experimented with collage, splicing together popular magazines, illustrated journals and fashion publications, to create powerful and humorous social commentary.

She was working at a time when art was under threat from the Nazi movement, which held an infamous exhibition of what it called “degenerate art” (Entartete Kunst) in 1937 as examples of art which was off-limits.

Höch also explored the concept of the “New Woman” in Weimar Germany, presenting complex discussions about gender and identity in a series of biting collages.

The show will bring together more than 100 works from international collections that span Höch’s six-decade career.

It will feature collages, photomontages, watercolours and woodcuts, and major works Staatshäupter (Heads of State) and Flucht (Flight).

It also includes her later works the Raumfahrt (Space Travel) and Um Einen Roten Mund (Around a Red Mouth), which uses cut-outs from print and popular culture of red lips, petticoats and crystals.

A spokesman for the gallery said: “Hannah Höch was an important member of the Dada movement and was admired by contemporaries such as George Grosz, Theo van Doesburg and Kurt Schwitters, yet she was often overlooked in traditional art history.

“Acerbic, astute and funny, Höch established collage as a key medium for satire whilst being a master of its poetic beauty.

“At a time when her work has never seemed more relevant, the exhibition puts this inspiring figure in the spotlight.”

Hannah Höch in Galleries one, eight and nine (the Victor Petitgas Gallery) at the Whitechapel Gallery, 77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.

n Call 020 7522 7888 or visit www.whitechapelgallery.org.

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