Famous Photomontage Art – John Heartfield Reactions, Comments, Related Websites

John Heartfield Dada & Photomontage Art

Reactions From Exhibition Visitors

“I’m 16 years old and have chosen(as part of my art GCSE) to do an essay on John Heartfield’s brilliant work. I have a 2000 (give or take) word limit and still pondering on an idea of a question. I was just wondering if you would be able to direct me to any perhaps more personal insight of his triggers of his art that he created, especially his anti-Nazi works. I am keen to take a current spin on his work perhaps contrasting it with the fake propaganda and promises made during Brexit and the Presidential Election. I personally find his works incredibly affective for all sorts of reasons and really look forward to exploring his art more closely. ”
Cressida B. (United States)

CURATOR’S NOTE:The email above I received from Cressida is one of my most favorite. One of the reasons I built The Official John Heartfield Exhibition is to remind people the past always informs the future. To hear from a young person that my grandfather’s work has helped her understand this fact is so inspiring. If you believe more of grandfather’s art should be made easily available to the public, please WRITE TO ME. Your opinion will make a difference.

“Thank you for maintaining the legacy of this wonderful artist. I saw John’s grave for the first time right after the Berlin Wall fell – I used to live in West Berlin and studied at the Technische Universitaet (Landschaftsplanung) on a German Academic Exchange Service grant (1985-1986)”
Stephanie T. (United States)
“I was thrilled to find your website because I have loved your grandfather’s work ever since I saw an exhibition of his posters, which was put together in collaboration with the Werkbundarchiv Berlin, when I was a young student.”
Andrea H. (Germany)
“As a U.S. citizen, I am pleading with you to allow a traveling retrospective of this history shaping work, please!! History is beginning to repeat itself in the US and all need to see the truths in these great works. Please have compassion and allow the works to travel to the US.”
Susan B. (United States)

CURATOR’S NOTE: It’s my life’s work to have my grandfather’s famous photomontage art, as well as his groundbreaking influential graphic design, on public view. His powerful visual statements opposing fascism, bigotry, ignorance, and oppression are especially relevant at this critical time in world politics. Unfortunately, almost all of my grandfather’s art is stored inside in a vast archive in Germany. If you believe my grandfather’s art should be made available to the public, please WRITE TO ME. Your opinion will make a difference.

“I`ve been working since 2010 with the life history of many photographers in Brazil, that had a main role as a resistance from the Military Dictatorship using the visual media as its main tool (during the 1960s and 1970s in Brazil and many other Latin American countries). My main objective right now, in this new academic research, is to understand John Heartfield`s work as a resistance of the authoritarianism in Europe, reading more about his life work, and have some close contact with his relatives for any kind of contribution that may enrich the Thesis. For this, the Oral History can be used as a tool to remember his job, his life and the continuation of his whole work.”
Caio P. (Brazil)
“Heartfield was surely a Dadaist in the truest original spirit and sense of the word. After all, the Dada movement originally came about in 1916 as a protest against the first world war and the political bungling that lead to its instigation. John Heartfield was a visionary artist who saw the same insidious process repeating itself in the 1930s, and more importantly possessed the rare moral integrity and brazen courage to dedicate his life and considerable talents to exposing those negative forces at work in Germany at that time.
A major retrospective for this brave and way under-appreciated genius is long overdue. I’m looking forward to seeing the Exhibition site blossoming.”
London Dada
“I am writing an academic monograph entitled “Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War,” to be published with Vanderbilt UP. One chapter with the importance of montage in the visual archives of the Spanish Civil War. As part of this chapter I would love to show, as an example of a particularly powerful montage, Heartfield’s “Die Freiheit selbst kämpft in ihren Reihen.”
Sebastiaan F. (United States)

Comments & Related Websites

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[…] Maria Martinez use of fragmented forms and images, has provoked comparisons to photomontages by the likes of John Heartfield and Alexander Rodchenko. The fragments revisit and reference her deep knowledge of art history, […]
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[…] John Heartfield was a German Dada pioneer, groundbreaking Graphic Designer and anti-fascist collage artist. He worked in the regime of the Nazis in a time when Hitler was his contemporary. In his work he attacked the fascism of the party with his imagination, scissors, glue and a stack of magazines, very much in the style of a Dadaist, whilst constantly being under threat of assassination by the Hitler’s Third Reich. Heartfield even went so far as to make his own name a political statement, being born as Helmut Franz Josef Herzfeld but changing it to John Heartfield to counteract the anti-British attitude of early 20th century Germany. His most famous works include a montage of Hitler turning his financial support into political lies appeared on Berlin newsstands in 1932. It was called ‘Adolf Der Übermensch: Schluckt Gold und redet Blech’ (Adolf The Superman: Swallows Gold and spouts Junk). Another example of his open criticism of the Nazis is the famous AIZ (a German illustrated magazine published between 1924 and March 1933 in Berlin) cover that exposed Hermann Goering as The Third Reich’s executioner and the Reichstag fire as the work of the Nazi Party called ‘Göring: Der Henker des Dritten Reichs’ (Goering: The Executioner of the Third Reich). I find this artist endlessly fascinating, take, for example the fact that he escaped assassination in his own home on the 4th of April 1933 when the Nazis stormed his house, forcing him to escape from his French windows and fall into a rubbish bin. He used the Nazi’s own images against them and was in my opinion one of the bravest and most important artists of all time. […]Laughing at Hitler- an artist’s favourite pastime. – Art

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[…]Slightly disappointed not more Otto Dix (though; this work is great), but taken with the work of John Heartfield (about whom I knew nothing prior to this exhibit) and pleased to see some of George Grosz’s […] CURATOR RESPONDS: I agree. This site keeps growing. I will add material about Otto Dix. Achtung, baby | AbsurdBeats

[…] His career began in 1968, a year of revolt against the status quo with the ‘hippie’ movement. Originally focusing on painting, Kannard abandoned it as he sought a new form of expression which would have a large sociological and political impact – which he found in photomontage. His efforts restored the medium from previous associations of radical politics, such as Dadaism and the anti-Nazi John Heartfield […]Imperial War Museum: Peter Kannard – Unofficial War Artist | Oliver Leak