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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Hannah Hoch

b. 1889, Gotha, Germany; d. 1978, Berlin

A master practitioner of photomontage, Hannah Höch carved out a niche for herself in the macho circle of Berlin Dada artists, to which she was introduced around 1917 by fellow artist Raoul Hausmann. Combining imagery and type appropriated from newspapers, magazines, and advertisements, she created incisive, often wry, statements on the corruption and decadence of bourgeois culture between the world wars. In many works, she took aim at the notion of the “New Woman” propagated in the German press. From 1926 to 1929, she lived in the Hague with Dutch author Til Brugman. They returned to Berlin in 1935, and Höch, despite the very real danger, continued to use her work as a platform for social and political critique. The Nazis branded her a “cultural Bolshevist” and banned her exhibitions. In 1939, she retreated to a Berlin suburb, quietly maintaining a Dada archive that would become indispensable to historians. Höch began exhibiting again in 1946, but it was not until 1971, with a retrospective at the Berlin Academy of Art, that her critical role in the avant-garde began to be assessed.