Between Art and Politics: Hans Richter’s Germany

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
March 23, 2013–August 11, 2013

This exhibition focuses on the interaction of political and aesthetic movements in Germany from the 1910s to the early 1920s, and the influence such movements had on the artistic development of Hans Richter (1888–1976); it complements Hans Richter: Encounters, on view in the Resnick Pavilion, May 5–September 2, 2013.

The works of Paul Cézanne, Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky, and Oskar Kokoschka exposed the young Hans Richter to the full range of contemporary art from Expressionism to abstraction. Gallerists, writers, and editors of influential cultural and political magazines introduced new artistic movements such as Futurism and Cubism to the German art world and promoted the work of aspiring artists, including Richter. World War I put a stop to this cultural activity and exchange. The exhibition also explores how Richter and many of his fellow artists became politically involved during and after the war, and how they consequently expressed in their work a yearning for a new social order, presaged by new forms of art.






Image: Conrad Felixmüller,Soldier in a Madhouse (Soldat im Irrenhaus), 1918. Lithograph printed in red and blue-violet on laid paper. The Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies.

Between Art and Politics: Hans Richter’s Germany

What would it have been like to grow up as an artist in pre- and post-World War I Germany? To discover the new German and international avant-garde in exhibitions and galleries, to frequent the intellectual and artistic circles in the cafés and cabarets in Germany’s capital...