Artist Spotlight: Hannah Hoch

Artist Spotlight: Hannah Hoch

Born in 1889, German Dada artist Hannah Hoch was one of the most important collage artists of the 20th century, and a pioneer in the realm of feminist artists.

In most of her work, she demonstrates the fragmented, fractured state of the Post-WWI world, and in particular Germany in the 20s and 30s.

To give you some background on Dada-ism, this was not a movement that was attempting to push a new ideology, but rather was focused on the failure of the past and the current disillusionment of man.

Dada is heavily tied to WWI and is very much a reaction to the sense of loss and disconnect that gripped Europe in the years following the war. Dada instead focused on the extraordinary and absurd, especially the seemingly foolishly abstract, as a means of communicating the way they viewed the world now was.

Hoch is known for her incisively political collages and photomontage works - appropriating and rearranging images and texts from the mass media to critique the failings of the Weimar German government. 

She also explored gender and identity in her work, addressing questions of how we conceive of personal beauty and how gender is constructed, and by doing this she fundamentally challenges the concept of feminine beauty.

Hoch is an icon to me, and I find that her work transcends time. In so many ways she was ahead of her time - an outspoken activist addressing issues of gender, sexuality, and inequality in thought-provoking totally original ways.

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