The Degeneration of Art Essay

Submitted By Kazemaru1
Words: 837
Pages: 4

“His creativity is that of the genuine artist, no matter in what field he may be working” stated Joseph Goebbels.(43) The quote referring to Adolf Hitler which believed that political leadership, which was more like a dictatorship shouldn’t be referred to as a political science (Staatswissenschaft) but as stagecraft (Staatskunst). During his dictatorship, Hitler took it upon himself to classify artworks that were deemed acceptable and unacceptable for Germany. Hitler set up two artwork exhibits which were known as the Grosse Deutsche Kunstaustsellung and Entartete Kunst -degenerate art-.(19) “Degenerate” art was defined as artwork that confused the human senses of natural form and or had no artistic skills. Hitler also felt that this type of artwork offended German feelings. There are two paintings by unknown artists that would be referred to as artworks A & B, these works will exemplify what classified as degenerate and what was acceptable. Artwork A is a perfect example of cubism, in which the “recognizable world of senses” (Modern Art Movements by Gloria K. Fiero), was disassembled then reassembled in an abstracted form. Instead of showing objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject matter in multiple viewpoints to give the subject greater context. Artwork A seems to be a war or battle of some sort. Based off of the tank and all of the soldiers firing in the same direction towards the left, the enemy must be approaching. The soldiers are positioned in what looks like a moat or fort with their guns drawn and firing. The battle looks as if it’s taking place within the woods or a meadow configured off of what I assume to be trees present in the scene. The battle must have been going on for a long time from the observation of the dense smoke in the air.. In Hitler’s point of view this would be classified as degenerate because of the fact that the figures are almost geometrical, the subjects of the artwork intersect at random angles removing the sense of depth, in that the background and object planes combine with one another to create a shallow space. The artwork lacks visual clarity, in that the objects within the space are not easily identifiable and requires a bit of concentration or a closer look in order to figure out where one figure ended and the other one began. Hitler would make sure that this painting would be placed in the Entartete Kunst exhibit because of the unnatural subject matter and the “lack of artistic skill”. Artwork B on the other hand would be displayed in the Grosse Deutsche Kunstaustsellung exhibit because the subject matter in this painting is very clear and the figures have all the human-like concepts. Artwork B depicts a woman perceived to be stranded in the middle of the ocean. Her being unconscious on the little mass of land and the way her arms are positioned gives off the message that she is in distress. The presence of little angels flying above her, one of them is reaching towards her as she lays unconscious can be perceived to be guardian angels and are there to make sure she is guided to safety or to take her to the afterlife.. According to…