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Art In America
John Heartfield In Context
Maud Lavin’s Article (Excerpts)
“Neglected by formalist critics, John Heartfield is attracting renewed attention, in part due to his relevance to contemporary art.”
“In the galleries of the Museum of Modern Art, there are no photomontages by John Heartfield, and the few Berlin Dada works that are exhibited are interspersed with Surrealist objects and other assemblages. Visual connections are established between Dada And Surrealism, but all other historical context is erased. Though its estheticized history, MOMA has effectively eliminated the possibility of recognizing Berlin Dada as an independent critical and political entity, a policy that contributes to a repression not only of Heartfield’s work but of the political roles of avant-garde artists in the 1920s in general.”
It must be made crystal clear MOMA does want to display the photomontages of John Heartfield in its galleries. I’ve had many conversations with MOMA curators and department heads precisely to that point. MOMA would be thrilled to display John Heartfield’s original art. Unfortunately, his maquettes, the original artwork from which Heartfield’s posters, magazine covers, and book jackets were mass reproduced are held inside the Heartfield Archiv, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Germany. The Heartfield Archiv categorically refuses consider any type of loan or display of Heartfield’s original art so that the public in mass can enjoy and appreciate it. The Akademie has even refused the curator’s request for high-resolution digital copies of Heartfield’s original art. I continue to discuss this matter with the Heartfield Archiv director. I’ll post updates on the exhibition and social media.