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Comic Grotesque

Wit And Mockery In German Art, 1870-1940

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Art: History & Theory

Prestel Publishing Co.

Due/Published December 2004, 208 pages, cloth

ISBN 3791331957

Filled with irreverent wit, comical elements, and absurdist humor, the concept of the grotesque has fascinated artists since ancient times, but it achieved importance as a novel aesthetic approach in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Starting with Arnold Böcklin's grotesque pictorial compositions, this volume, accompanying an exhibition, brings together a dazzling array of artists who drew inspiration from grotesque ideas about disorder, distortion, and inanity, including Lovis Corinth, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Otto Dix, Alfred Kubin, Kurt Schwitters, and Emil Nolde.

Essays consider the frequently overlooked connection between the visual arts and other media, specifically the rise of cabaret culture and humor magazines. In addition, the authors examine the legacy of the grotesque movement as seen in modern drama, art, and performance. With nearly two hundred color and black-and-white illustrations, this striking collection traces the evolution of a largely ignored, but hugely influential, movement in modern art.


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