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The Collages of Kurt Schwitters

The Collages of Kurt Schwitters
Tradition and Innovation

  • Date Published: January 1996
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521498913

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About the Authors
  • At the end of World War I, the German artist Kurt Schwitters dramatically broke with dominant artistic traditions by adopting collage as the primary medium for his literary and visual production. In The Collages of Kurt Schwitters: Tradition and Innovation, Dorothea Dietrich demonstrates how collages function for the artist. Characterising Schwitters's work as the product of the deep social and political crises of the Weimar Republic, Dietrich challenges the prevalent outlook that twentieth-century art can be reduced to a revolutionary struggle of avant-garde artists against an entrenched artistic tradition. The Collages of Kurt Schwitters argues for a more nuanced view, in which revolutionary art forms are exposed as containing much that is traditional and, indeed, reactionary.

    • Shows how Schwitters's work is the product of deep social and political crises of the Weimar Republic
    • Challenges the prevalent view that twentieth-century art can be reduced to a revolutionary struggle of avant-garde artists against an entrenched artistic tradition
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521498913
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 203 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • contains: 107 b/w illus. 8 colour illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Political and cultural chaos and the formation of Merz
    2. Art after the war: expressionism and dada
    3. Merz and expressionism
    4. The invention of a new language
    5. Play with chaos: the Aquarelle
    6. Political inscription
    7. Refashioned traditions
    8. The Merzbau or the cathedral of erotic misery
    9. The fragment reformed: Schwitters's Merzbau
    Conclusion
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Dorothea Dietrich, Princeton University, New Jersey

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