Novembergruppe (1919) – German Radical Artists Group

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Title page from the pamphlet An alle Künstler!
Title page from the pamphlet An alle Künstler! MoMA

Novembergruppe is a German artist and architects’ group. 

Background

The Novembergruppe was established in 1918 in Berlin as a loose coalition of avant-garde artists. The unsuccessful November 1918 revolution impacted it, and the painters César Klein and Max Pechstein supported its establishment. They shared some members with the Arbeitsrat für Kunst group but were more artistic and less radical.

Hannah Höch, Der Zaun, 1928, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, Repro: Kai-Annett Becker
Hannah Höch, Der Zaun, 1928, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, Repro: Kai-Annett Becker | Museumsdienst Berlin

The Novembergruppe was described as radical in its use of new expressive techniques and radical in its rejection of earlier forms of expression. Avant-garde musicians and experimental filmmakers Hans Eisler, Walter Gropius, Hugo Häring, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Hans and Wassili Luckhardt, Erich Mendelsohn, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Bruno and Max Taut were among the group’s members. Lyonel Feininger, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Ludwig Meidner were all painters. The organisation, which had stopped operating in 1931, was officially outlawed by the Nazis in 1933.

Exhibitions

The group held 19 exhibitions in Berlin from 1919 to 1932. Along with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, an exhibition of graphics and watercolours was mounted in Rome in 1920, and a travelling version of it visited Moscow and Japan in 1924. Berlin hosted a retrospective in 1977.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

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