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Showing posts from June, 2017

Vorspung durch Kunst: the revolution of German Art

This week saw a new auction record for German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann, when his Hölle der Vögel made £36 million at Christie’s in London on Tuesday evening. The painting has been referred to as ‘Germany’s Guernica’, a reference to the influential painting Picasso made in 1937 depicting the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. 

Beckmann’s work was also painted in 1937 soon after he had fled Germany for exile in Amsterdam, and as such it not only stands as a withering indictment of the violence he saw at the hands of Hitler’s Socialist Nationalist revolution, but also as a chilling forewarning of its catastrophic future. The buyer, reportedly, was US billionaire Leon Black, who also purchased Munch’s The Scream from Sotheby’s in 2012.
Watchers of International Contemporary Art have long-reported the rise in prices (and popularity) of Germany’s post-war artists. This Beckmann sale now extends this reach to its pre-war era, although the subject matter remains the same: Man’s inhuman…