Museum Gunzenhauser
Presentation of the Collection

Between Abstraction and Realism

Gustav Wunderwald, Fabrik an der Lindower Straße, Berlin N, 1927, Öl auf Leinwand, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz-Museum Gunzenhauser, Eigentum der Stiftung Gunzenhauser, Chemnitz, Foto: Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz/Archiv

Between Abstraction and Realism
Art in the Interwar Period

The First World War was a radical turning point and was also perceived as such. It affected the whole of Europe and caused far-reaching changes, also in art. Many artists radically turned away from traditional art forms in the 1920s. An entirely new variety of artistic styles began to emerge. Some came from the imperial era, others were created during or after the war. After the furore and pathos of Expressionism, a calming and clarification of form set in, which was summarised under the term New Objectivity. While some artists can be aptly characterised by this, others –despite their turn to social themes and their commitment to representationalism –did not abandon an Expressionist style of painting. All in all, art flourished during the Weimar Republic, which lasted only 14 years. From Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Abstraction, Dada to New Objectivity – a prevailing pluralism of styles is a characteristic of art in the first German democracy.