Clown

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Fischer Fine Art Ltd., London
    Collection of Barry Friedman, New York
    Christie’s, New York, The Image as Object: Photographs from the Collection of Barry Friedman, 5 October 1998, lot 117

  • Exhibited

    Kunstverein, Kassel, April - June 1969
    Hannah Höch, Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris, January - March 1976; and traveling to Preussischer Kulturbesitz, National-Galerie, Berlin, March - May 1976
    The Twenties in Berlin, Annely Juda Gallery, London, November 1978 - January 1979
    Hannah Höch: Photomontages, Paintings, Watercolors, Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany, 23 February – 4 May 1980; and traveling to Kunsthalle Hanover; Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal; and Kunstverein Frankfurt through January 1981
    L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, California, January 1984
    Hannah Höch - Geroge Grosz, La Boetie, Inc., New York, October - December 1983
    Hannah Höch, Modernism, San Francisco, 25 October 1985 - 11 January 1986
    Photomontage/Photocollage: the Changing Picture, 1920-1989, Jan Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, 4 August - 2 September 1989
    Three Berlin Artists of the Weimar Era: Hannah Höch, Käthe Kollwitz, Jeanne Mammen, Des Moines Art Center, 23 April - 17 July 1994
    Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 17 January - 27 April 1997

  • Literature

    Lavin, Cut with the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Höch, pl. 93
    Blessing, Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography, p. 25
    Noun, Three Berlin Artists of the Weimar Era: Hannah Höch, Käthe Kollwitz, Jeanne Mammen, pl. 19
    For all, this collage

  • Catalogue Essay

    Hannah Höch was an originator of the photomontage and helped define it as an expressive and effective tool for social critique. As early as 1916 she began assembling cutout images from printed media along with her lover Raoul Hausmann, one of the founders of the iconoclastic Dada movement. She became the only woman artist associated with Berlin Dadaists and showed work in their inaugural exhibition in 1916 and in the influential Erste Internationale Dada-Messe of 1920. Her work was included in the groundbreaking Film und Foto exhibition in 1929.

    As the 1920s progressed, Höch’s work increasingly addressed the role of the ‘new woman’ in Weimer Germany. While women were accorded more independence, Höch’s work undermines the idea that they had achieved anything close to equality with men. She found much of her source material at Ullstein Verlag, a publisher of women’s magazines, where she worked between 1916 and 1926. She thus used images from the mass media to critique and satirize the stereotypes it promoted. As other women artists—Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger among them—would do later in the century, Höch raided popular culture for her subject matter, creating sometimes playful and sometimes biting commentary on feminine stereotypes.

    In the unique photomontage offered here Höch draws an analogy between the ‘new woman’ and a clown. In it, the cheerful face of woman is enclosed within a clown’s costume, making her into a farcical figure. As Höch authority Maud Lavin notes, ‘the clown guise masks the pathos behind the role of the comedienne’ (p. 128).

16

Clown

1924
Unique collage of halftone and rotogravure elements.
4 5/8 x 3 3/4 in. (11.7 x 9.5 cm)
Initialed in ink on the recto; signed, titled and annotated in pencil on the reverse of the second mount. Accompanied by numerous exhibition labels.

Estimate
$60,000 - 80,000 

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas

+212 940 1245
 

Photographs

New York Auction 14 October 2020