This small town symbolized the archetype of pastoral American life. Yet this idyllic place was also held hostage by a dark past, manifesting in the racial tensions that scar much of American history.
Hannah Höch was a German Dada artist known for her political photomontages. Made from newspaper clippings and found objects, her work often engaged with the early 20th-century ideal of the “New Woman” – one who challenged the traditional domestic role of females. The artist is most commonly associated with her photomontage Cut with the Kitchen Knife through a Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic (1919-1920), which critiqued the male-dominated political apparatus, a system the artist believed resulted in the failure of the Weimar Republic and the increasing militarization in post-World War I Germany.
Born November 1, 1889 in Gotha, Germany, she studied at the Berlin’s College of Arts and Crafts, training that was not available to many European women at the time. In 1915, Höch formed a romantic relationship with artist Raoul Hausmann, who introduced her to Dadaism – an artistic movement that began in Zurich in response to World War I. In 1926, she split from Haussman and moved to the Netherlands, where she worked alongside several influential artists including Piet Mondrian and Kurt Schwitters. Later in her career, the artist lived in Berlin and was forced to stop showing her work in public after her art was deemed degenerate by the Nazi regime. Höch died on May 31, 1978 in Berlin, Germany. Her work is currently held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Berlinische Galerie.