Negotiating History: German Art and the Past || History by Degrees: The Place of the Past in Contemporary German Art

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The Art Institute of ChicagoHistory by Degrees: The Place of the Past in Contemporary German ArtAuthor(s): Stephanie D'AlessandroSource: Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1, Negotiating History: GermanArt and the Past (2002), pp. 66-81+110-111Published by: The Art Institute of ChicagoStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4113052 .Accessed: 14/06/2014 11:28Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. .The Art Institute of Chicago is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Art Instituteof Chicago Museum Studies.http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=artichttp://www.jstor.org/stable/4113052?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART STEPHANIE D'ALESSANDRO THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO I. The art of Germany, perhaps more than that of any other nation, has been inextricably linked to its past. While this may seem self-evident and true of any country, the particular his- tory of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s has made a specific and lasting impression: fol- lowing World War II and the Holocaust, German artists, historians, and critics found it nearly impossible to recover their national artistic past. Art historians faced the problem that specific periods, such as the German Renaissance (typified by the graphic work of such artists as Albrecht Diirer), were co-opted and corrupted by the National Socialists for their nationalistic, propagandistic agenda. After the war, writing about the past meant having to take on the associated problem of fascism. Artists, on the other hand, faced com- plicated public expectations for new work: they needed to break from the immediate, fas- cist past and at the same time somehow mir- ror and respond to the atmosphere of shame, anger, and sorrow that past caused. The problem of shaping a postwar art was compounded by the international com- munity's expectation that contemporary Ger- man painting and sculpture should acknowl- edge the Nazi past. As a result, the reception of German artists in Western Europe and the United States over the years has often been con- tingent on their work's ability to meet the crite- ria of a dark, brooding, or anxious appearance, and to treat specific subjects (especially those surrounding the guilt of the Holocaust).' For more than fifty years, German artists have struggled with such direct repercussions of the past, and have at the same time grappled with a less defined, inescapable haunting, the bur- den of the idea of history itself. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a new Germany has sought to make peace with its past, moving beyond World War II and retrieving many other moments of its rich national history. For contemporary artists, the war is no longer the limit and sole focus of his- torical consciousness--they are free to select from multiple pasts and use them to varying degrees in their work. In order to understand this new artistic environment, however, we much first trace the particular case of Germany after World War II, and the various historical stances open to, and taken by, the generations of artists who came after the Holocaust. I I. Germany lay prostrate in May I945, phys- ically devastated by Allied bombing cam- paigns and a collapsed infrastructure; ram- pant inflation, acute food shortages, and human displacement plagued the nation. In this moment of physical destruction, Germans also faced massive monetary reparations and an incomprehensible sense of accountability. At this Stunde Null, or "zero hour," citizens also faced the end of German sovereignty: the Figure 1 Andreas Gursky (German; born I955). Shanghai, 2000 (detail). Cibachrome print (2/6); 301 x 206 cm (iI8 2 x 8 1 in.). Gift of Pamela J. and Michael N. Alper. (2000.155). 67 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspN1 IN- --------------------------------------_----------?a~- S ? . ..... I .. . ..!. . -..j ;__,-- ....' ; i. ii i i ,,,,, i ! i~i;i '......................... ......~~~ ~~~ ~ ~~~ ~~~~~~ .. . .. ..................................... Lj ~a-~nU I)L r* , This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Figure 2 Ernst Wilhelm Nay (German; 1902-1968). Small Figural Form Painting, 1948. Oil on canvas; 45 x 65 cm (173/4 X 25 5/8 in.). Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund. nation was divided physically and politically, one part under the supervision of the Soviet Union and the other under the direction of the United States, Great Britain, and France. Each sector's visual culture reflected this sep- aration, especially as tensions escalated after the onset of the Cold War. Within East Ger- many, officially founded in 1949, artists fol- lowed the cultural program of the USSR, which was informed by a mixed aesthetic of Marxist ideology and formal realism that was posited as an antidote to the cultural bankruptcy brought on by Nazism.2 Meanwhile, artists in West Ger- many, and particularly in its dramatic outpost of West Berlin, upheld a legacy of abstraction, the stylistic hallmark of the capitalist victors (especially the United States) and a symbol of artistic and political freedom.' In the absence of a younger generation that might help forge a postwar cultural identity,4 older artists like Willi Baumeister, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, and Fritz Winter sought to obscure reality in abstract and semifigural works like Nay's Small Figural Form Painting (fig. 2), in which the artist attempted to evoke universal, spiritualist, and transcen- dent qualities.' Such disparate formal and ideological choices were the result of a rupture with the national past, a predicament formalized by social theorist and critic Theodor Adorno in 1949, when he asserted: "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric."6 His statement came at the end of an essay on the relationship of the critic to objects and culture; although it was almost immediately regretted by the author and has been much misquoted and misunder- stood by the public since, it nonetheless set the course for postwar art. Adorno was concerned with the ethical issues of producing poetry after the Holocaust; the phrase, however, has been more typically interpreted as a judg- ment on the impossibility of producing post- Holocaust art.7 In the early i95os, it became a proscription: art had to be either a liberat- ing call for rupture with the past, or a heavy admission of the need for apology. Many artists responded to Adorno's words by taking an ascetic approach to German art and cultural history. Nay, Winter, and others deprived themselves of their heritage; refrain- ing from any reference to the immediate history of the war and the Holocaust, they adopted a spare style of abstraction infused with metaphysical ideas.8 Giinter Uecker's work draws from this tradition, but as an artist trained after the war, he can be seen as a variant in this first generation, or period, of postwar artists. Born in eastern Germany, Uecker trained in the Soviet sector before traveling west in 1955 to study with the once "degenerate" modern artist Otto Pankok.9 He is best known for his association with Zero, an artists group based in Diisseldorf, and for his painted and nailed monochrome objects such as Vast Ocean (fig. 3). Composed of painted nails carefully spaced and ham- mered at various angles onto a painted, white background, the work possesses a power that arises from an uneasy tension between the violent manner in which Uecker applied the nails, and the gentle, undulating patterns cre- ated by their placement. Uecker focused on the formal effects of space, color, and light in 68 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART order to produce an otherworldly effect. Works such as Vast Ocean "have a concrete spatial relationship with the observer," the artist has said. "They become a dynamic principle, which lets you participate where light in its purity becomes a metamorphosis of beauty, where it transforms to the human theater.""o Uecker and other Zero artists hoped to pro- duce new, spiritual forms of perception in the viewer not as a way to avoid the past, but as a kind of cleansing. The name "Zero," in fact, was not meant nihilistically, but to indicate "a zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning."" Adorno's words made the immediate burden of defining postwar art weightier, but in subsequent years they came to be seen as more of a metaphorical line in the sand, a ghost haunting each generation of artists after I945. It was up to another group to break with the practice of abstraction and negation, and to escape the specter of the past. Artists such as Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter found their inspiration in Joseph Beuys. Shaman and politician, genius or charlatan, Beuys was an artist who infused his unconventional works with personal his- tory and mythology. Trained as a radio opera- tor in World War II, Beuys was shot down in the blizzard-swept Crimea. He was saved by a nomadic tribe of Tartars, who brought him back to the warmth of their felt-lined tents, thawed his body with applications of fat and felt wrappings, and fed him a diet of cheese, fat, and milk. When Beuys came back to Ger- many at the end of the war, he drew inspiration from these transformative experiences and became determined to rehumanize postwar art and life.12 Issued from an edition of fifty, Sled (fig. 4) was originally conceived as part of The Pack, a 1969 installation in which Beuys presented twenty sleds streaming out of the back of a Volkswagen bus like a team of small rescue animals.13 The artist introduced the theme of rescue and survival through the clump of fat and length of folded felt, both crucial ele- ments in his own mythic healing; the flash- light and painted cross on one of the sled's runners suggest themselves as symbols of guid- ance and life-saving. While Sled refers to literal human survival, it also suggests a metaphori- cal sort of rescue: on the bottom of the sled's runners are bands of iron, Beuys's symbols for energy conduction and shaping the world anew. In this context, each small sled, sent into the world alone, can be imagined to serve as a powerful instigator of political and social healing and progress. Such works recall Beuys's concept of art as "social sculpture," a creative process that encompassed not only art pro- duction but social evolution as well.14 Although Sled does not directly address the Holocaust, it is far from the abstract nature of Uecker's Vast Ocean. It recognizes the Figure 3 Guinther Uecker (German; born 1930). Vast Ocean, 1964. Painted nails and wood; I75.3 x 175.3 cm (69 x 69 in.). Barbara Neff Smith and Solomon Byron Smith Purchase Fund (I967.165). 69 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Figure 4 Joseph Beuys (German; 1921-1986). Sled, 1969. Wooden sled, felt, belts, flash- light, fat, and rope (35/5o); 35 x 90 x 35 cm (133/4 X 33/ X 13 3/4 in.). Twentieth-Century Purchase Fund (0973.56). Figure 5 Gerhard Richter (German; born 1932). Uncle Rudi, 1965. Oil on canvas; 87 x 5o cm (34/4 X 195/8 in.). The Czech Museum of Fine Arts, Memorial Museum Lidice. social, political, spiritual, and artistic void left behind by the Holocaust, and also demon- strates Beuys's importance in preparing the ground for a resurgence of referential, com- memorative, and political work by German artists such as Baselitz, Kiefer, Polke, and Richter, who studied with or near him at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Diisseldorf, where he taught in the I960s. Faced with defining a postwar art for themselves, they were also inspired by the 1968 student rebellions, which initially focused on unsatisfactory conditions in German universities but soon took aim at the materialism of German society. Galvanized by the important 1967 study The Inability to Mourn: Principles of Collective Behavior, which diagnosed Germans with an inability to con- front their wartime history, young people called on their nation (and especially older genera- tions) to recognize the collective repression of the past and acknowledge the resultant atmos- phere of silence and melancholy." Many of the artists of this second gener- ation originally came from the East: Richter, for example, began his artistic career in the city of Dresden.16 Moving to Diisseldorf in I96I, he met Konrad Lueg and Polke, and with them developed Capitalist Realism, a short-lived movement devoted to highlighting the mech- anisms of consumerist West Germany. In 1962 Richter began to make paintings based on snapshots and newspaper photographs. Pro- jecting a slide of an image onto a canvas, Richter faithfully painted the scene in the limited, gray-and-blue palette of a vintage photograph. When the work was still wet, he dragged a dry brush through it, giving it a blurred effect. The final image wavers between documented, "detached" record and painterly, subjective imagining. The process of painting these images is as important as their subjects. Some of Richter's paintings, like Uncle Rudi (fig. 5), which shows the artist's uncle smiling in a wartime military uniform, acknowledge his own family's past during the Nazi era. Others, such as the i8 October 1977 series (1988; New York, Museum of Modern Art), reveal Richter's awareness of contemporary political issues.17 Still other images, such as Christa and Wolfi (cat. no. I7), 70 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART with its informal composition and hazy man- ner of description, possess an anonymous, nostalgic aura. Although seemingly benign, this work, in its very evocation of the past, delivered a political message in I96os Ger- many, reminding society of what it refused to acknowledge. Indeed, Richter's handling of his paintings is analogous to his use of sub- jects: he scratches away the surfaces, reveal- ing the sometimes difficult realities that lie beneath fragile veneers of order and safety. Christa and Wolfi suggested, then, that even within the most casual scenes, the past was still present. Polke also examined postwar society and its taboos, but did so with a greater sense of irony, and even cynical humor. From his begin- nings in Capitalist Realism, the artist devel- oped a critical attitude toward West German culture and history, and its "renewal" through the materialism and consumerism of the Allied powers. Influenced by Pop Art, but more critical of American culture and capitalism than Andy Warhol or others, Polke revealed humorous and sometimes terrifying elements of the past that were neatly swept under the carpet of Germany's reconstruction. The artist used shifting linguistic terms and historical Figure 6 Sigmar Polke (German; born 1941). Watchtower with Geese, 1987-88. Artificial resin and acrylic on various fabrics; 290 x 290 cm (11474 x 11474 in.). Restricted gift in memory of Marshall Frankel; Wilson L. Mead Endowment (1990.81). 71 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Figure 7 Anselm Kiefer (German; born 1945). Ways of Worldly Wisdom: Hermann's Battle, 1980. Woodcut with additions in acrylic and shellac on ivory wove paper; 334.8 x 528.3 cm (1313/4 x 2083/4 in.). Restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. Noel Rothman, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dittmer, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Manilow, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph R. Shapiro, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Goldenberg, and the Wirt D. Walker Fund (1986.112). signs in Watchtower with Geese (fig. 6), for example, to suggest the persistence of the past within postwar German culture. In German, a watchtower-the object visible at the center of the painting's composition-is sometimes called a Hochsitz. When seen in relation to the sunglasses, beach chairs, and umbrellas at the right of the painting, this Hochsitz appears to be a raised chair for lifeguards. In a country with Germany's temperate climate, though, the word Hochsitz is more commonly used to describe a place that hunters use to watch for geese; playing with this alternate meaning, Polke added a gaggle of standing geese in the work's lower-right corner. Even more ominously, however, Hochsitz also refers to the surveillance towers used in German extermination and work camps during World War II-Polke con- veys their menacing aspect through the two faces on the right side of the image, drawn over the beach chairs and umbrellas. In this way, the work suggests that despite distracting leisure activities and attempts to soften it (the nega- tive image of the watchtower is registered on the pink, quilted fabric), the past cannot be repressed in Germany's collective memory. Richter's and Polke's art might be described as Trauerarbeit, or work that acknowledges the need for mourning and memorialization."1 While their images do not act as memorials themselves, they were intended to prompt society to acknowledge its need for apology, to face its past, and to grieve and remember. Such works were not easily received in post- war West Germany, where there was an over- whelming desire to normalize everyday life and minimize the fascist past. Anselm Kiefer, one of the youngest artists of this second gen- eration, had perhaps the most difficult expe- rience with the public reception of his work. 72 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Born in the final months of World War II, Kiefer is part of the Nachgeborenen, a term used to describe those those born generally after the war. This historical distance has allowed the artist greater freedom with which to confront his nation's history and even Adorno's critical legacy. Germans, however, have often taken offense at his art, which consciously provokes discomfort, embarrassment, and shame even as it avoids announcing a clear position in respect to the past."9 Early in his career, Kiefer approached Ger- man history in highly transgressive ways. In 1969, for example, he produced "Occupa- tions," a series of photographs of himself in various European locales, dressed in a Nazi uniform and giving the "Heil Hitler" salute.20 Directly acknowledging German military aggression and the wider legacy of German art history--at least one image is a quote from the work of Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich (see Morton, figs. 2, 5)-Kiefer's series does not deal in polite or poetic refer- ences, but instead engages directly with the national past and the legacy of Nazism that all Germans faced as they sought to con- struct a sense of national identity in the post- war era. In Ways of Worldly Wisdom: Hermann's Battle (fig. 7), Kiefer presents another densely layered exploration of German history, here rendered in billboard-like scale and Expression- ist style. Comprised of thirty-three portraits of historical figures that the artist executed, joined together, and embellished with acrylic, the work functions as a compendium of thoughts on German independence and nationhood. Using these portraits as symbols of distinct moments in the history of German national- ism, Kiefer included likenesses of such dis- parate personalities as the great nineteenth- century dramatist Heinrich von Kleist, the military hero Helmuth von Moltke, the philos- opher Martin Heidegger, and the Nazi martyr, Horst Wessel.21 Adding to the historical depth of these ideas is the subtitle, Hermann's Battle, a refer- ence to a legendary Teutonic chieftain who destroyed three Roman legions in 9 A.D. in the Teutoberg Forest, and became a cultural hero in the struggle for national unity and independence.22 Rendering the portraits in the medium of the woodcut, a technique adopted during the Romantic, Expressionist, and Nazi periods as a symbol of German artistic identity,23 Kiefer set them into a backdrop of dense trees, recalling the mythic German forest, an icon of national identity and culture. Over the surface of the composition and emanating from the flames of Hermann's battle, the artist drew concentric circles, a reference to the rings of a tree, the cycles of time and the seasons, and the deep, inescapable roots of German history. II I. In 1990o Germany embarked on a new path as a reunified country, and has spent much of the last decade grappling with issues of rebuilding, remembering, and rebridging the last fifty years. In reconstructing lost neigh- borhoods, developing the area over Hitler's former bunker, and inhabiting the Berlin Wall's former no-man's land, the country has begun to move beyond its fascist past and recuperate the rich and varied aspects of its entire history. In this atmosphere, a new gen- eration of artists has begun to produce work that has a drastically different relationship to history than that of its predecessors. The past has a place in the art of Reinhard Mucha, Katharina Fritsch, Thomas Ruff, and Andreas Gursky, but it is not a limitation; it comprises many moments (public and private) that the artists incorporate to various degrees. While their work is not a direct result of the rebuild- ing effort, it does represent a similar spirit. For this reason, it is worth examining what is 73 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Figure 8 Paul Wallot (German; I84I-I912), architect. West facade of the Reichstag, Berlin, (completed 1894). Photo, c. 900oo: Bildarchiv Foto Marburg/Art Resource, New York. arguably Germany's most prominent new con- struction project, the Berlin Reichstag. As a site of national history for the past one hun- dred years, now renewed and inhabited by the country's reunified government, the Reich- stag is a metaphor for the place of history in German art today. Built to serve as the permanent home of the German parliament, the Renaissance and Baroque-revival building (fig. 8) has played host to-and has literally been transformed by- many of the major events of modern German history. In 1916, for instance, during World War I, the Reichstag was altered to reflect the country's move away from imperial rule, its facade dedicated with bronze letters spelling out "Dem deutschen Volke" (To the German People). Two years later, the formation of Germany's first democratic government, the Weimar Republic, was announced from one of its windows. In I933 the building was engulfed in flames and a severely crippled parliament was forced to consent to the elimination of constitutional government and to the sole power of Hitler. Partially rebuilt, the struc- ture was used in 1937 to host two Nazi propa- ganda exhibitions, the "Great Antibolshevist Exhibition" and "The Eternal Jew."24 After the Battle of Berlin in 1943-44, the burnt and bullet-ridden Reichstag bore the graffiti of invading Soviet troops. In 1961, standing in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, it was rebuilt yet again, its interior covered by the high Modernist, Bauhaus-inspired design of Paul Baumgarten. Ten years later, it was the site of "Questions on German History," an exhibi- tion that was on view until the early 199os. On 4 October 199o, the edifice was at the center of Unification Day celebrations. Almost a year and a half later, after heated discus- sions, the German government elected to move to Berlin; rather than build anew, it decided to refit and return to the Reichstag building, now a potent symbol of the country's mod- ern past. After sponsoring an international com- petition, the German government selected the design of British architect Sir Norman Foster for the Reichstag reconstruction. Seven years in the making, the rebuilt structure is as remarkable an architectural project as it is a symbol of the new Germany's confrontation with its past. For the exterior, Foster kept much of the Reichstag's recognizable form, rebuilding only the glass dome that had been destroyed at the end of World War II. This dome, with its location over the plenary chamber and its easy accessibility via the building's roof deck, has often been interpreted an emblem of the "transparency of democracy" in the new Ger- many.25 While Foster's dome, with its spiraling walkways and a mirrored cone used for both illumination and cooling, is dramatically visi- ble from outside the building (fig. 9), it is on the interior of the Reichstag that the architect most thoroughly engaged with the building's past. Indeed, Foster uncovered the physical marks of German history throughout the space, allow- ing remnants of the ornate nineteenth-century decoration to mingle with traces of bullets, Russian victory slogans, and high-Modernist cool (fig. io). Standing on a glass walkway, visi- tors take in all these fragments of history simul- taneously, rather than experiencing them as 74 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART isolated events. Less memorials than traces, together they become, in Foster's words, a "his- torical 'palimpsest' to be read and understood."26 Foster's Reichstag represents a new response to the national past, one that assem- bles and equalizes the signs of history, and thereby lessens their individual weight on con- temporary German culture. This histori- cal sensibility is much different from that of earlier postwar art: for artists such as Uecker, Richter, Polke, or Kiefer, history (the Holo- caust) remained something impassable yet inaccessible, something taboo. Mucha, Fritsch, Ruff, and Gursky, on the other hand, approach their art without the burden of having to refer to the war. Like the interior of the Reichstag, various degrees of political, social, and even personal history intermingle to produce mul- tivalent and rich works of art. Indeed, free from the yoke of the Holocaust, contempo- rary German artists draw on the past to ques- tion traditional meanings and identities within a greater international community of artists. The work of Reinhard Mucha is an example of this aesthetic: his sculptures and installations recall a variety of historical as well as personal moments, but are resistant to identification with any one of them alone. They are an amalgam of the past. Whether collected from a thrift store or the surround- ing landscape of an upcoming exhibition site, the main elements of Mucha's works are found objects. Weimar (fig. ii), for example, features a door purchased from a Frankfurt second- hand store housed in a former World War II bunker.27 Mucha added felt and various metals to the original object, covering the entire geometric composition with a set of sliding-glass doors accented with lead-oxide paint. In a formal sense, the work recalls a number of moments in German art history. The use and significance of the door, for example, echoes Joseph Beuys's Burned Door, Beak and Ears of a Hare (i953; Vienna, Museum Moderner Kunst).28 Charred and discarded, Beuys's object is a portal, a place of transformation that reflects the door's retrieval from a junk shop and its elevation to museum piece. In general, however, the use of detritus can be traced in German art to the Dadaists, and especially to the Merzbilder of Kurt Schwitters (see cat. no. I1), collages com- posed from junk and paper scraps he found in Figure 9 Norman Foster (British; born 1935), architect. The Reichstag, Berlin. The spiral walkways and mirrored cooling cone viewed through the glass dome. Courtesy Foster and Partners, London. Figure 10 North corridor of the Reichstag, Berlin. Above the visitors' heads are some of the extant decorative areas of Paul Wallot's original, 1882 design; Soviet soldiers' graffiti and bullet-scarred walls are visible in the lower left and right sides of the hall. Courtesy Foster and Partners, London. 75 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Figure 11 Reinhard Mucha (German; born 1950). Weimar, I993. Wood, glass, aluminum, steel, felt, and lead oxide; 117 x 251 x 29.5 cm (46 x 98 7/ x II5/8 in.). Gift of the Society for Contemporary Art (1994-541). the streets of Hanover after World War I.29 Mucha's door wavers between being a recognizable object and an element in a larger geometric pattern. Indeed, the work's regu- lated composition calls to mind the 1920s works of Vasily Kandinsky (see Clarke, fig. II), El Lissitzky, and Liszl6 Moholy-Nagy, art- ists associated with the Bauhaus, the school of art, design, and architecture founded by Walter Gropius in 1919. Mucha reinforced this formal allusion to the Bauhaus by naming the work Weimar, after the city where Gropius established the school. Weimar is an important place for other reasons: Bach, Liszt, Nietzsche, Schiller, Strauss, and most notably Goethe, all lived and worked in the city.30 It was also the site of the National Assembly when it con- vened in 1919 to establish the Weimar Republic, Germany's government during the "Golden Twenties." The name of the city is, moreover, a reminder of the time after World War II when Weimar and its cultural legacy were cut off from West Germany, trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Mucha evokes this duality of great hope (the Enlightenment, Goethe, and Schiller) and great despair (the destruction of democ- racy and the Cold War) in the title of the work. With its surface of tracklike felt bands and metal strips, Weimar, like many of Mucha's works, refers to travel, and especially to the somewhat old-fashioned mode of voyaging by train. The sculpture was first exhibited in a 1993 show called "Weight on Drivers," along with a number of other door-pieces named after six-lettered German train stations. (Indeed, "weight on drivers" is a technical expression used in the specifications of a steam locomo- tive.) In these works, Mucha used the German rail system to suggest the desire, melancholy, and dislocation generated by the Cold War: while politically divorced from West Germany, Weimar was still connected by the railroad. Although it invites such cultural and political associations, Mucha's work also mines the artist's own personal history. Mucha has long been interested in trains: a photograph shown in his solo exhibitions of i980 and 199o (both entitled "Kopfdiktate" [What the Mind Dic- tates]), presents the artist as a school-age boy with his back to the camera, staring in awe at a train.O1 Other works, like the serialized sculp- ture Wartesaal (Waiting Room, 1979-82/97-), 76 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART feature an indexical system of the names of all the train stations in Germany; the filmJourney to Juist (i993) shows the grown artist riding a train with his daughter.32 Weimar refers to each of these moments equally and simultaneously, drawing on many pasts to represent a new consciousness, one in which personal and collective history are of balanced importance. The Nazi past, the Cold War, and the golden ages of German culture are also of equal significance. At the same time, none of them can be read as a singular subject-that remains ambiguous. In this way, the work itself is analogous to the place of the past in the new Germany: covered with glass like an object in a museum vitrine, the work (like history) is separated from the viewer. While it is invisible, the glass also reflects the viewer's image, keeping him or her at the surface, and imparting a hermetic quality to the work. The glass keeps the viewer at a dispassioned distance. Katharina Fritsch produces similarly mul- tireferential, hermetic works. While reflecting personal history, her dramatically scaled sculp- tures engage German art and cultural history as well as stereotypes of national identity.33 In Monk (fig. 12), for example, the artist used the lone, brooding figure of a Franciscan friar to encapsulate a number of issues surrounding national identity and the place of the past in German art today. On an immediate level, the sculpture evokes the artist's fascination with Christian traditions and rituals, and with the medieval towns, such as Nuremberg and Bam- berg, that she frequented in her youth. Con- ceptually, however, Monk suggests Fritsch's place within a larger artistic tradition. Chris- tian symbolism in general, and the figure of the monk in particular, gained importance after Wilhelm Wackenroder published his Heart- felt Effusions of an Art-loving Friar (I797). Adopting the persona of a monk, Wackenroder equated Christian faith with artistic beauty, proposing that the creation of art was a mira- cle understood through emotion rather than reason; for Wackenroder, artists were priests who communed with God through their work.34 The figure of the monk also recalls the work of Caspar David Friedrich, who stunned audi- ences in the early i8oos with his painting Monk by the Sea (I809-Io; Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg), which expresses the mystery of human life and death. With this painting, in which an isolated figure of a monk turns from the spectator to confront the unknow- able void before him, Friedrich made of nature a new kind of spiritual icon. Indeed, during the Romantic era, artists used the figure of the monk in a nationalistic campaign to break with the immediate past and found a new soci- ety and art. Monk recalls this particularly German legacy, and, in recycling and exploring this icon of the past, removes the veneer of fas- cism that once tainted German Romanticism. The work can also be seen to emerge, how- ever, from Fritsch's individual approach to the phenomenology of art. Her sculptures are exercises in abstraction and contrast, prod- ucts of disciplined experiments in scale, color, form, and installation. The artist works on these intensely hand-crafted sculptures until each one is capable of inspiring in its viewers a prelinguistic kind of recognition, and exists, as Fritsch has said, "as an image [that] can- not be set in a social or other context but as a phenomenon in itself.""5 Drawing on personal history, medieval Germany, Romanticism, and Nazi propaganda-as well as the once- taboo subject of nationalism itself--Fritsch presents a contemporary sense of Germany and its past, held tightly within the obdurate, black figure of a monk. The art of Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky, both of whom work in photography, incorporates fragments of history to suggest 77 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Figure 12 (Opposite) Katharina Fritsch (German; born 1953). Monk, 1997-99. Polyester and paint; 193 x 58.4 x 43.2 cm (76 x 23 x 17 in.). The Anstiss and Ronald Krueck Fund for Contemporary Art; through prior acquisi- tion of Mary and Leigh Block (2000.49). the new place of the past not only in contem- porary art, but also in contemporary German identity. While Ruff made the three photo- graphs in the Art Institute's collection in the years just prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the artist has since returned to them at least twice.36 The untitled works (figs. 13-15) are larger-than-life-size portraits in which Ruff focused sharply on each subject's face, bringing imperfections and details into greater view. Devoid of expression, the sitters are no different than the inanimate objects (interior scenes and constellations) Ruff has photo- graphed over the years.37 Functioning singly as well as in a group, these images resemble the work of Ruff's noted teachers, Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose series of photographs of outmoded water towers and old-fashioned buildings convey a somewhat melancholic attitude toward their subject.38 Ruff's repetitive, detached style has led writers to connect his work to New Objec- tivity (see Maria Makela's essay in this volume), and the art of one of its greatest practitioners, August Sander, who believed that the counte- nances of his sitters, seen alone and in groups, communicated truths about the various strata of German society (see Makela, figs. I, 9-10)."9 It is worth noting that, while the photogra- pher professed a detached and restrained eye, he used lighting, background detail, and pose to convey character: in his 1929 publication The Face of the Time, for example, Sander sug- gested the emotional desperation of a home- less man in Cologne by placing a shadow across his eyes and capturing his broken pos- ture.40 The formal and conceptual roots of Ruff's pictures also lie in nineteenth-century evidentiary photography and the resulting typologies established in the social sciences. Featuring plain, white backgrounds and uni- form lighting, frontal poses, and cropping, Ruff's photography relates to the taxonomic identification systems of psychiatrist Jean Martin Charcot, ethnologist Hermann Heinrich Ploft, and especially criminologist Cesare Lombroso, that inferred social, moral, and mental character through the photo- graphic accumulation and comparison of physical traits.41 While Ruff's portraits play with these historical precedents, they also throw up a barrier to traditional methods of interpreta- tion. Like Mucha's Weimar with its glass doors, these untitled works keep viewers at their surface and are, like Fritsch's icons, rep- resentations of mental images and not mater- ial reality. "I can only show the surface," Ruff has said. "A person has too many layers ... my images are not depictions of reality, but show a kind of second reality, the image of the image."42 Although the artist treats the subjects of his portraits like objects, in the context of his statement their identity has special meaning. Ruff deliberately selected his sitters from among friends and acquaintances at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Diisseldorf, where he studied and now teaches. The sub- jects, then, are young Germans. While it is only the idea of the sitters that is represented in the photograph, that in itself is important. Ruff's early artistic models used physiognomy to ren- der personal and national character readable as a "type." Here, however, with details enlarged and seen under bright lights, Ruff's subjects resist being read: though their formal character suggests that they hold physiognomic truths, the moral, mental, and especially national character of the sitters is imperceptible. Like Fritsch, Ruff draws on the past only to dodge traditional meanings. In evoking them, he suggests their futility, and the need for view- ers to draw upon a wider set of references- beyond those traditionally used to understand German art-in order to apprehend the work. Mucha, Fritsch, and Ruff engage in an 78 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART allusive relationship to things German, produc- ing works whose power sometimes relies on the artists' ability to invoke various degrees of German artistic, political, and personal his- tory, only to reject the meanings those tra- ditions suggest. Andreas Gursky, however, engages in a conscious internationalism that has little use for German traditions. Like Ruff, Gursky also studied at the Staatliche Kunst- akademie in Diisseldorf with Bernd and Hilla Becher. Shaped by his teachers' objective and systematic approach to their subject matter, Gursky, too, was influenced by the sachlich (objective) images of Sander as well as those of Albert Renger-Patzsch, a photographer who turned his dispassionate eye to rural and indus- trial landscapes in the 1920s. Despite his debt to such German models, however, Gursky's work since the mid-198os has increasingly taken on a broader, more global tone that transcends national identity.4" In the 199os Gursky began to focus his camera on crowded and chaotic images of contemporary life (public concerts and dem- onstrations) and on seemingly detached, com- posed views of the technological and commer- cial world (factory interiors, office buildings, and shop displays). His subjects span the globe from Bonn to Chicago, Hong Kong to Cairo. Gursky produces grand tableaux that seem to be enacted before the viewer's eyes, but the formal rigor and lavish color of his photo- graphs produce an "all-over" surface that makes these works impossible to penetrate and interpret. Shanghai (fig. i) is among the most impres- sive examples of Gursky's work to date, and one of a number of photographs the artist has made of hotel lobbies around the world. The purely physical nature of the image-its over- whelming verticality and scale, and its vivid color-literally envelops the viewer. The space it represents intrigues: Gursky made the work 79 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART Figure 13 Thomas Ruff. (German; born 1958). Untitled (Ralph Miller), 1986. Chromogenic color print in artist's frame; 205.I x 163.2 cm (79 3/8 x 64 Y4 in.). Gift of Lannan Foundation (1997-125)- Figure 14 Thomas Ruff. Untitled, 1988. Chromogenic color print in artist's frame; 210.8 x i65.i cm (83 x 65 in.). Gift of Lannan Foundation (1997.126). Figure 15 Thomas Ruff. Untitled, 1988. Chromogenic color print in artist's frame; 210.2 X 165.4 cm (823/4 x 65A8 in.). Gift of Lannan Foundation (1997.127). 80 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspHISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART by photographing the same subject on three different floors of the hotel lobby, digitally manipulating the images to bring the objects in the background to the same level of resolu- tion as those in the foreground, and then fus- ing the three pictures into one. The result is an otherworldly, towering space in which the floor seems almost to fall out from beneath the viewer. And despite the apparent regu- larity of the scene, with its horizontal bands of floors and systematically placed doors, Gursky's image resists order-balconies are not always parallel to doors, and people, clean- ing carts, and a photographer's tripod dirty an otherwise pristine, minimalist scene. Beyond these vaguely anecdotal details, the photograph tells us nothing of the city, the lobby, or the people, but instead represents a moment of luxurious beauty. Although Gursky's refer- ences to German art and history are barely perceptible, his work participates in the aes- thetic of this "post-Wall generation"-it insists on its surface, playing with and yet resisting attachment to German history, identification, or even in-depth interpretation. IV. While the art of Germany has been inex- tricably linked to its past, the place and signifi- cance of that past has shifted in the years since the Holocaust. In the immediate period after the war, artists negated history and eradicated subject matter in a move toward formal and emotional abstraction. Later, with postwar renewal and normalization, a second genera- tion of artists engaged history in a more direct way, using symbols and ideas buried with the rubble of the war to provoke and question. With reunification, artists have defined a new relationship to their country's past. Out from under the burden of the Holocaust and Adorno's proscription, they are now free to engage with all of German history as well as with art, media, society, and politics on a global scale.44 The work of Mucha, Fritsch, Ruff, and Gursky demonstrates how, for many contemporary German artists, history is only relevant in degrees. More than a mere point of reference, the past is invoked not to apolo- gize or normalize, but to challenge the very art-historical traditions that placed World War II at center stage for their artistic prede- cessors, and even for their international audi- ences today. Instead of a burden, the past is now a tool, a powerful device through which to conjure a new art that reflects a new iden- tity and a new chapter in Germany's long, complex, and colorful history. 81 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspNOTES 30. "In me there is ... the addiction to excess, the Mannerists' addiction to excess"; artists and patrons have struggled with a veritable Bilderstreit, as it is called in Georg Baselitz and Eugen Sch6nebeck, "Pandemonium I" (i961), trans. David Britt, Germany, a battle over which art traditions and images will now represent the coun- in Richard Calvocoressi, ed., Georg Baselitz: Schilderijen/Paintings, i960-83, exh. cat. try's past. The debate has not yet dissipated: even recent attempts have brought more (London, 1983), P. 24. Baselitz has developed a highly refined knowledge of Mannerist scorn than praise, criticized for Western-minded biases in their appraisal of twenti- printmaking and become a major collector; see Ger Luijten, ed., La Bella Maniera: eth-century German art. For two exhibitions that drew particularly contentious Druckgraphik des Manierismus aus der Sammlung Georg Baselitz (Bern, I994). responses, see Rolf Bothe and Thomas F6hl, eds., Der Aufstieg und Fall der 31. Of course, there were other American models by 1964; they proliferated through Moderne, exh. cat. (Ostfildern, 1999); and Peter-Klaus Schuster, et al., Das XX. the decade, and Baselitz was aware of them. Michael Werner, Baselitz's dealer and Jahrhundert: Ein Jahrhundert Kunst in Deutschland, exh. cat. (Cologne, I999). In longtime friend, noted (in a conversation with the author, June 6, 200ooI) that the artist my discussion of postwar Germany, I am generally referring to West Germany. was impressed by works of Larry Rivers and Jasper Johns, both of whom incorpo- 4. Yule E Heibel wrote that in postwar Germany, an entire generation (those born rated lettering into their imagery. In I967, he titled a painting Bfiir Larry (with "B," between 19I5 and 1925) was under Nazi doctrine, ignorant of modern art, and thus presumably, standing for "Baselitz"). Werner recalled that Baselitz had confused the considered unfit to assume the task of reconstructing a non-fascist art. See Heibel names of Johns and Rivers in his mind; the painting should have been B fiirjasper. (note 2), pp. 4 and 145, n. 7. 32. Baselitz 1989 (note I), p. 20. See also Baselitz 1996 (note I), p. 74; and idem, 5. The writer Giinter Grass recounted this atmosphere in a 1985 speech at the Kunst- "Angels and Gnomes--German Tribal Art" (1994), in Waldman (note I), pp. 249-51. akademie in Berlin: "In visual art Modernism was very much to the fore, but only on 33. Georg Baselitz, interview with Siegfried Gohr, "Georg Baselitz: Paintings Don't the condition that it presented itself in an abstract form. All that unpleasantness was Come with Guarantees," trans. Shaun Whiteside, Flash Art 26 (summer 1993), p. 69. safely behind us, and the less that was seen of it the better. Ciphers, yes. Ornaments, See also Richard Shiff, "Behind and Underneath," in Kosme de Barafiano and Maita by all means. Materials and structures galore. Pure form. Just nothing too explicit, Cafiamis, eds., Baselitz: Escultura frente a pintura (Madrid, 2001), pp. 36-51. that was all: nothing that might hurt." See Die Zeit, May io, 1985; cited and translated 34. See also Baselitz 1985 (note 23), pp. 216-20. in Joseph Thompson, "Blasphemy on Our Side: Fates of the Figure in Postwar 35. Baselitz 1992 (note 2), p. 235. German Painting," in Thomas Krens, Michael Govan, and Joseph Thompson, eds., 36. Ibid. "Wendisch" is the German term for the Slavic Sorbs living within eastern Refigured Painting: The German Image, 1960-88, exh. cat. (Munich, 1989), pp. 30-31- Germany in the regions of Saxony and Prussia. 6. Theodor W Adorno, "Cultural Criticism and Society" (1949), in idem, Prisms, 37. Ibid., pp. 235-36. trans. Samuel and Sherry Weber (London, 1967), p. 34. 38. Ibid., p. 236. 7. Lisa Saltzman has written an important study of Adorno's statement, its relation- 39. Baselitz 1996 (note I), p. 121. ship to biblical prohibition, and the author's Jewish identity; see Lisa Saltzman, 40. Georg Baselitz, "Pandemonium 2" (1962), trans. David Britt, in Calvocoressi Anselm Kiefer and Art After Auschwitz (Cambridge, 1999), esp. chap. i. (note 30), pp. 25, 29. 8. For more on the development of art during the early reconstruction period, see 41. For the relevant section of the Kalevala, see W. E Kirby, trans., Kalevala, the Heibel (note 2), esp. chap. i. Land of Heroes (London, I907), vol. 2, pp. 68-125. On Gallen-Kallela see Timo 9. Uecker's career is discussed by Dieter Honisch, Uecker, trans. Robert Erich Wolf Martin and Douglas Siv6n, Akseli Gallen-Kallela: National Artist of Finland, trans. (New York, 1983). Keith Bosley and Satu Salo (Helsinki, 1985); and Soili Sinisalo, ed., Akseli Gallen- io. Giinter Uecker, Bildobjekte, 1957-1970 (Stockholm, 1970), n.p. Kallela (Helsinki, I996). 11. Other members of Zero included Heinz Mack and Otto Piene. For this state- 42. "Surrealism is the reality of pictures and Socialist or Fascist Realism [is] the sur- ment, by Piene, see Times Literary Supplement, Sept. 3, I964, n.p. reality of society"; see Baselitz 1992 (note 2), p. 236. 12. The distinction between art practice, persona/truth, and myth was long blurred by 43. Baselitz 1981 (note 20), p. 2I4. Beuys himself; see Barbara Lange,Joseph Beuys: Richtkrifte einer neuen Gesellschaft 44. See Gohr (note 28), pp. 67-69; and Waldman (note I), pp. 36-37. Although they (Berlin, 1999). differ, the commentaries of Gohr and Waldman were both informed by conversa- 13. See Caroline Tisdall,Joseph Beuys (New York, 1979), pp. I90-216, for an illustra- tions with Baselitz. tion and description of the installation; and Jorg Schellmann, ed.,Joseph Beuys; The Mul- 45. "I am interested in the borderline cases in art," Baselitz says, "where the acquired tiples: Catalogue Raisonn6 of Multiples and Prints, exh. cat. (Cambridge, Mass., terrain has become uncertain and the classical view has fallen apart." See Georg 1997), for specifics on the editioned work. Baselitz, "Reflections on the School of Fontainebleau," in Los Angeles, Grunwald I4. Joseph Beuys, "Introduction" (1979) and "I am Searching for Field Character" Center for the Graphic Arts, The French Renaissance in Prints from the Bibliothbque (1973), in Carin Kuoni, comp.,Joseph Beuys in America: Energy Planfor the Western nationale de France, exh. cat. (1994), p. 13. Man: Writings by and Interviews with the Artist (New York, 199o), pp. 19-23- 46. Baselitz 1989 (note i), pp. 9, 16. 15. Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich, Die Unfiihigkeit zu trauern: Grundlagen 47. Baselitz, in Geldzahler (note 4), p. 83. kollektiven Verhaltens (Munich, 1967). 16. Other artists of this generation likewise hail from East Germany and Eastern D'A LESSANDRO, "HISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE Europe: Polke was born in Oels, Silesia (now Poland); Baselitz came from Deutsch- PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART," PP. 67- 8 1. baselitz in Saxony; Markus Liipertz was born in 1941 in Reichenberg (today Liberac, Czech Republic); and A. R. Penck (born 1939) came to the West from Dresden. I would like to acknowledge Jay A. Clarke, Associate Curator in the Department of 17. This cycle is composed of fifteen black-and-white paintings based on press pho- Prints and Drawings, for initiating this issue of Museum Studies, and thank her for tographs of the Baader-Meinhof group, a band of young German radicals impris- her salient comments on this essay. I am also grateful to Neal Benezra, Deputy oned for violent acts against the government. On 18 October, I977 they died under Director and Frances and Thomas Dittmer Curator of Modern and Contemporary suspicious circumstances in the Stammheim prison in Stuttgart. For discussions and Art; James Rondeau and Daniel Schulman, Associate Curators; and Sabine Wieber, all illustrations, see Martin Henatsch, Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977: Das verwis- of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art; and Maria Makela, Director chte Bild der Geschichte (Frankfurt, 1998); and Robert Storr, Gerhard Richter: of Provenance Research, for their helpful suggestions. Unless otherwise noted, all October 18, 1977, exh. cat. (New York, 2000). translations are my own. 18. The term Trauerarbeit was first used by Sigmund Freud in Mourning and Mel- ancholia (19I7) to denote a cathartic process of mourning; in 1967 the word re- 1. This comment should also be extended to the purchase of German art by Western entered German vocabulary in the Mitscherlichs' book (note I5), where it referred to European and American collectors and museums. Greatly influenced by the political the phenomenon of Germans who had not yet not mourned their Nazi past, and divisions of postwar Germany, most collectors and museums were primarily inter- thus continued to repress a part of their history. ested in works by West German artists. For this reason, my essay--focused on the 19. For more on Kiefer see Andreas Huyssen, "Anselm Kiefer: The Terror of His- collection of The Art Institute of Chicago--reflects a Western orientation, tory, the Temptation of Myth," October 48 (spring 1989), pp. 25-45; and Mark 2. Georg Lukics first postulated the connection between Modernism and fascism in Rosenthal, Anselm Kiefer, exh. cat. (Chicago/Philadelphia, 1987); one of the best a dispute with Ernst Bloch in the I930s; for more on the so-called "Expressionist recent examinations of Kiefer can be found in Saltzman (note 7). debates," see Rose-Carol Washton Long, ed., German Expressionism: Documents 20. "Occupations" is reproduced in Rosenthal (note i9), figs. 7-I3. When the art from the End of the Wilhelmine Empire to the Rise of National Socialism (New York, periodical Interfunktionen published "Occupations" in I975, it faced massive boy- 1993). During the reconstruction period, previous expressive modes such as Expres- cotting and financial ruin; see Saltzman (note 7), p. 161 n. 22. Because Kiefer's per- sionism, and modes of inquiry such as Nietzsche's philosophy, were associated with sonal position was often ambiguous, critics perceived his paintings as efforts to social ruination. See Yule E Heibel, Reconstructing the Subject: Modernist Painting reassert the past, not move beyond it. In his homeland, he was even labeled a "neo- in Western Germany, ?945-I95o (Princeton, 1995), pp. 2-3. fascist." For more on Kiefer's reception, see Saltzman (note 7), chap. 3. 3. For more on the divided history of art in Germany, see Eckhart Gillen, ed., 21. A full description and identification is found in Rosenthal (note I9), p. 157 n. 3o. German Art from Beckmann to Richter: Images of a Divided Country, exh. cat. 22. According to the artist, the title refers to a 1924 apology for Catholicism by Bernhard (Cologne, 1997). In the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, curators and critics, Jansen called Wege der Weltweisheit (Ways to Worldly Wisdom) that drew upon various 110 NOTES 30. "In me there is ... the addiction to excess, the Mannerists' addiction to excess"; Georg Baselitz and Eugen Schdneheck, "Pandemonium s" (1961), trans. David Britt, in Richard Calvocoressi, ed., Georg Baselicz: Schilderijen/Paincings, ig60-83, exh. cat. (London, 1983), p. 24. Baselitz has developed a highly refined knowledge of Mannerist printmaking and hecome a major collector; see Ger Luijten, ed., La Bella Maniera: Druckgraphik des Manierismus aus der Sammiung Georg Baselicz (Bern, 1994). 31. Of course, there were other American models hy 1964; they proliferated through the decade, and Baselitz was aware of them. Michael Werner, Baselitz's dealer and longtime friend, noted (in a conversation with the author, June 6, 200a) that the artist was smpressed hy works of Larry Rivers and Jasper Johns, hoth of whom incorpo- rated lettering into their imagery. In 1967, he titled a painting Bftir Larry (with "B," presumahly, standing for "Baselitz"). Werner recalled that Baselitz had confused the names of Johns and Rivers in his mind; the painting should have heen B fiirJasper. 32. Baselitz 1989 (note s), p. 20. See also Baselitz 1996 (note s), p. 74; and idem, "Angels and Gnomes -German Trihal Art" 0994), in Waldman (note I), pp. 249-51-. 33. Georg Baselitz, interview with Siegfried Gohr, "Georg Baselitz: Paintings Don't Come with Guarantees," trans. Shaun Whiteside, Flash Art 26 (summer 1993), p. 69. See also Richard Shiff, "Behind and Underneath," in Kosme de Barafiano and Maita Cafiam~s, eds., Baselicz: Esculturafrence apincura (Madrid, 2001), pp. 36-51- 34. See also Baselitz 1985 (note 23), pp. 216-20. 35. Baselitz t992 (note 2), p. 235. 36. Ihid. "Wendisch" is the German term for the Slavic Sorbs living within eastern Germany in the regions of Saxony and Prussia. 37. Ihid., pp. 235-36. 38. Ihid., p. 236. 39. Baselitz 1996 (note s), p. 121. 40. Georg Baselitz, "Pandemonium a" (1962), trans. David Britt, in Calvocoresss (note 30), pp. 25, 29. 41. For the relevant section of the Kalevala, see W F. Kirhy, trans., Kalevala, che Land of Heroes (London, 1907), vol. 2, pp. 68-125. On Gallen-Kallela see Timo Martin and Douglas Sivln, Akseli Gallen-Kallela: National Arcisc of Finland, trans. Keith Bosley and Satu Salo (Helsinki, 1985); and Soili Sinisalo, ed., Akseli Gallen- Kallela (Helsinki, 1996). 42. "Surrealism is the reality of pictures and Socialist or Fascist Realism [is] the sur- reality of society"; see Baselitz 1992 (note a), p. 236. 43. Baselitz 1981 (note 20), p. 214. 44. See Gohr (note 28), pp. 67-69; and Waldman (note 0), pp. 36-37. Although they differ, the commentaries of Gohr and Waldman were hoth informed hy conversa- tions with Baselitz. 45. "I am interested in the horderline cases in art," Baselitz says, "where the acquired terrain has become uncertain and the classical view has fallen apart." See Georg Baselitz, "Reflections on the School of Fontainehleau," in Los Angeles, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, The French Renaissance in Princsfrom the Bihliothlque nacionale de France, exh. cat. (0994), p. 13. 46. Baselitz 1989 (note s), pp. 9, 16. 47. Baselitz, in Geldzahler (note 4), p. 83. D'ALESSANDRO, "HISTORY BY DEGREES: THE PLACE OF THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY GERMAN ART," PP. 67-81. I would like to acknowledge Jay A. Clarke, Associate Curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings, for initiating this issue of Museum Studies, and thank her for her salient comments on this essay. I am also grateful to Neal Benezra, Deputy Director and Frances and Thomas Dittmer Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; James Rondean and Daniel Schulman, Associate Curators; and Sahine Wieber, all of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art; and Maria Makela, Director of Provenance Research, for their helpful suggestions. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. i. This comment should also he extended to the purchase of German art hy Western European and American collectors and museums. Greatly influenced hy the political divisions of postwar Germany, most collectors and museums were primarily inter- ested in works hy West German artists. For this reason, my essay-focused on the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago -reflects a Western orientation. a. Georg Lukics first postulated the connection hetween Modernism and fascism in a dispute with Ernst Bloch in the 1930s; for more on the so-called "Expressionist dehates," see Rose-Carol Washton Long, ed., German Expressionism: Documents from the End of the Wilhelmine Empire to the Rise of National Socialism (New York, 1993). During the reconstruction period, previous expressive modes such as Expres- sionism, and modes of inquiry such as Nietzsche's philosophy, were associated with social ruination. See Yule E Heihel, Reconstructing the Suhject: Modernist Painting in Western Germany, 1945-1950 (Princeton, 1995), pp. 2-3. 3. For more on the divided history of art in Germany, see Eckhart Gillen, ed., German Art from Bechmann to Richter: Images of a Divided Country, exh. cat. (Cologne, 1997). In the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, curators and critics, artists and patrons have struggled with a veritahle Bilderstreit, as it is called in Germany, a hattle over which art traditions and images will now represent the coun- try's past. The dehate has not yet dissipated: even recent attempts have hrought more scorn than praise, criticized for Western-minded biases in their appraisal of twenti- eth-century German art. For two exhihitions that drew particularly contentious responses, see Rolf Bothe and Thomas Fdhl, eds., Der Aufscieg und Fall dec Moderne, exh. cat. (Ostfildern, 1999); and Peter-Klaus Schuster, et al., Das XX. Jahrhunderc: EinJahrhunderc Kunst in Deutschland, exh. cat. (Cologne, 1999). In my discussion of postwar Germany, I am generally referring to West Germany. 4. Yule E Heihel wrote that in postwar Germany, an entire generation (those horn hetween 1915 and 1925) was under Nazi doctrine, ignorant of modern art, and thus considered unfit to assume the task of reconstructing a non-fascist art. See Heihel (note a), pp. 4 and 145, 0. 7. 5. The writer Giinter Grass recounted this atmosphere in a 1985 speech at the Kunst- akademie in Berlin: "In visual art Modernism was very much to the fore, hut only on the condition that it presented itself in an abstract form. All that unpleasantness was safely hehind us, and the less that was seen of it the hetter. Ciphers, yes. Ornaments, hy all means. Materials and structures galore. Pure form. Just nothing too explicit, that was all: nothing that might hurt." See Die Zeic, May so, 1985; cited and translated in Joseph Thompson, "Blasphemy on Our Side: Fates of the Figure in Postwar German Painting," in Thomas Krens, Michael Govan, and Joseph Thompson, eds., Refigured Painting: The German Image, 1960-88, exh. cat. (Munich, 1989), pp. 30-31. 6. Theodor W Adorno, "Cultural Criticism and Society" (0949), in idem, Prisms, trans. Samuel and Sherry Weher (London, 1967), P. 34. 7. Lisa Saltzman has written an important study of Adorno's statement, its relation- ship to biblical prohihition, and the author's Jewish identity; see Lisa Saltzman, Anselm Kiefer and Art After Auschwitz (Camhridge, 1999), esp. chap. i. 8. For more on the development of art during the early reconstruction period, see Heihel (note a), esp. chap. i. 9. Uecker's career is discussed hy Dieter Honisch, Uecher, trans. Rohert Erich Wolf (New York, 1983). so. Giinter Uecker, Bildohjehte, 1957-1970 (Stockholm, 1971), n~p. ii. Other memhers of Zero included Heinz Mack and Otto Piene. For this state- ment, hy Piene, see Times Literary Supplement, Sept. 3, 1964, n~p. 12. The distinction hetween art practice, persona/truth, and myth was long hlurred by Beuys himself; see Barhara LangeJoseph Beuys: Richtkhifte einer neuen Gesellschaft (Berlin, 1999). 13 . See Caroline TisdallJoseph Beuys (New York, 1979), PP. 190-216, for an illustra- tion and description of the installation; and Jdrg Schellmann, ed.,Joseph Beuys; The Mul- tiples: Catalogue Raisonof of Multiples and Prints, exh. cat. (Camhridge, Mass., 1997), for specifics on the editioned work. 14. Joseph Benys, "Introduction" (1979) and "I am Searching for Field Character" (0973), in Carin Kuoni, comp.,Joseph Beuys in America: Energy Planfor the Western Man: Writings hy and Interviews with the Artist (New York, 1990), pp. 19-23. 15. Alexander and Margarece Mitscherlich, Die Unfdhigheic zu trauern: Grundlagen hollehtiven Verhaltens (Munich, 1967). 16. Other artists of this generation likewise hail from East Germany and Eastern Europe: Polke was horn in Oels, Silesia (now Poland); Baselitz came from Deutsch- haselitz in Saxony; Markus Liipertz was horn in 1941 in Reichenherg (today Liherac, Czech Repuhlic); and A. R. Peock (horn 1939) came to the West from Dresden. 17. This cycle is composed of fifteen hlack-and-white paintings hased on press pho- tographs of the Baader-Meinhof group, a hand of young German radicals impris- oned for violent acts against the government. On s8 October, 1977 they died under suspicious circumstances in the Stammheim prison in Stuttgart. For discussions and illustrations, see Martin Henatsch, Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977: Das verwss- chte Bild der Geschichte (Frankfurt, 1998); and Rohert Storr, Gerhard Richter: October 18, 1977, exh. cat. (New York, 2000). 18. The term Trauerarbeit was first used hy Sigmund Freud in Mourning and Mel- ancholia (0917) to denote a cathartic process of mourning; in 1967 the word re- entered German vocahulary in the Mitscherlichs' hook (note 1I), where it referred to the phenomenon of Germans who had not yet not mourned their Nazi past, and thus continued to repress a part of their history. ig. For more on Kiefer see Andreas Huyssen, "Anselm Kiefer: The Terror of His- tory, the Temptation of Myth," October 48 (spring 1989), pp. 25-45; and Mark Rosenthal, Anselm Kiefer, exh. cat. (Chicago/Philadelphia, 1987); one of the hest recent examinations of Kiefer can he found in Saltzman (note 7). ao. "Occupations" is reproduced in Rosenthal (note 19), figs. 7-13. When the art periodical Incerfunhcionen puhlished "Occupations" in 5975, it faced massive hoy- totting and financial mmi; see Saltzman (note 7), p. s6s n. aa. Because Kiefer's per- sonal position was often amhiguous, critics perceived his paintings as efforts to reassert the past, not move heyond it. In his homeland, he was even laheled a "nen- fascist." For more on Kiefer's reception, see Saltzman (note 7), chap. 3. as. A full description and identification is found in Rosenthal (note 19), p. 157 0. 30. 2 According to the artist, the title refers to a 1924 apology for Catholicism hy Bernhard Jansen called Wege der Weltweisheit (Ways to Worldly Wisdom) that drew upon varsous 110 This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspNOTES systems of thought to defend the church; see ibid., p. 51. Alternatively, Donald Kuspit 43. For more on Gursky, see Alex Alberro and Katy Siegel, "The Big Picture," Artforum identified the source of the title from an old textbook; see Donald Kuspit, "Transmuting 39, 5 (Jan. 200ooi), pp. 104-II4; see also Peter Galassi, Andreas Gursky, exh. cat. (New Externalization in Anselm Kiefer," Arts Magazine 59, 2 (Oct. 1984), pp. 84-86. York, 200). 23. See Ida Katherine Rigby, "The Revival of Printmaking in Germany," in Stephanie 44. See Gerard Hadders et al., German Open: Gegenwartskunst in Deutschland, Barron and Bruce Davis, German Expressionist Prints and Drawings: The Robert Gore exh. cat. (Wolfsburg, 2000). Rifkind Centerfor Expressionist Studies (Los Angeles/Munich/New York, 1989), vol. I, pp. 39-64; and Robin Reisenfeld, "Cultural Identity and Artistic Practice: The 1. REINHARDT ( P P. 82- 8 3). Revival of the German Woodcut" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1993). 1. See J. J.Winckelmann, Reflections on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting 24. For more on these politically motivated and anti-Modernist shows, see Stephanie and Sculpture, trans. Elfriede Heyer and Roger C. Norton (La Salle, Ill., 1987); and Barron, "Degenerate Art": The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, exh. cat. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, La6coon: An Essay on the Limits ofPainting and Poetry, (Los Angeles/New York, 199I); and Christoph Zuschlag, "Entartete Kunst": Ausstel- trans. Edward Allen McCormick (Baltimore, 1984). lungsstrategien im Nazi-Deutschland (Worms, 1995), esp. p. 3oo00 and following. 2. Quoted in Hubert Schrade, German Romantic Painting, trans. Maria Pelikan 25. Jane Kramer, "Living with Berlin," New Yorker (July 5, 1999), p. 45. (New York, 1967), p. 52. 26. Norman Foster, "Preface," in Bernhard Schulz, The Reichstag: The Parliament Building by Norman Foster (Munich/New York, 200ooo), p. 9. 2. BLECHEN ( P P. 83-8 4). 27. See Anthony d'Offay Gallery, unpublished exhibition brochure for "Weight on i. Blechen's set designs, as well as a drawing in reverse (Saarbriicken, Saarland Museum) Drivers" (London, Dec. 1993-Jan. 1994). that served as a model for this lithograph, are reproduced in Peter-Klaus Schuster, 28. Beuys's Burned Door is illustrated in Lothar Schirmer, ed.,Joseph Beuys: Eine ed., Carl Blechen: Zwischen Romantik und Realismus (Munich, 199go). Werkibersicht (Munich, 1996), pl. 39. 29. For a fascinating examination of Schwitters's Merzbilder, his larger Merzbau 3. BLECHEN ( P P. 84-8 5). project, and the elevation of society's waste, see Roger Cardinal, "Collecting and I. The primary figures of German Romanticism, Caspar David Friedrich and Philipp Collage-Making: The Case of Kurt Schwitters," in John Elsner and Roger Cardinal, Otto Runge, broke artistic ground by infusing landscape painting with a sense of the eds., The Cultures of Collecting (London, 1994), pp. 68-96. spiritual. Although a number of their followers--Blechen, Johann Christian Clausen 30o. The association with Goethe is important: Mucha himself has pointed out the Dahl, Ferdinand Oehme, and Karl Friedrich Schinkel (see Morton, fig. 6)-contin- similarity of the surface pattern of Weimar and the wood-slat facade of Goethe's ued the idiom, their increasing interest in naturalism diluted the style's poetic potential. home in Weimar. 2. See Peter-Klaus Schuster, ed., Carl Blechen: Zwischen Romantik und Realismus 31. For an illustration of this photograph, see Gillen (note 3), P. 358-59. (Munich, i99o). 32. Waartesaal is illustrated in Gudrun Inboden, Reinhard Mucha: Gladbeck, exh. 3. This painting was the culmination of an intense period of study Blechen undertook cat. (Paris, 1986). For more on Mucha and the theme of travel, see Germano Celant, to complete his commission. The two commissioned pictures are still displayed as art "Stations on a Journey," Artforum 24, 4 (Dec. 1985), pp. 76-79; Anna Moszynska, of the former royal collection in the Staatliche Schl6sser und Girten, Potsdam- "Train Spotting," Art Monthly 174 (Mar. 1994), pp. 7-11; and Jerry Saltz, "History's Sansoucci. Oil sketches for the pair are in the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the National- Train," Art in America 82, I (Jan. 1994), pp. 78-80. galerie, Berlin, which also houses a number of preparatory drawings. See KarlBlechen: 33. See, for example, works such as Rattenk6nig (Rat King) (1991-93; Basel, Emmanuel Leben, Wiirdigungen, Werk (Berlin, 1940). The Art Institute's final version was bought Hoffman Stiftung) and Kind mit Pudeln (Child with Poodles) (1995-96; San by Friedrich Wilhelm III and given to his daughter, the Czarina of Russia. Francisco Museum of Modern Art), illustrated in Gary Garrels and Theodora 4. Carl Gustav Carus, "Das Palmenhaus auf der Pfaueninsel," in Gellertbuch, ed. Vischer, Katharina Fritsch, exh. cat. (San Francisco/ Basel, 1996), pls. 20, 22. Ferdinand Naumann (Dresden, 1854), pp. I86-89. 34. Wackenroder's text is reprinted in Elizabeth Basye Gilmore Holt, From the Classicists to the Impressionists: A Documentary History of Art and Architecture in 4. B C K LIN (PP. 8 5 - 8 6 ) . the Igth Century (Garden City, N.Y., 1966). 1. Elizabeth Barnes Putz, "Classical Antiquity in the Painting of Arnold Bocklin" 35. As quoted in Katharina Fritsch, interview with Matthias Winzen, Journal of (Ph.D. diss., University of California at Berkeley, 1979), p. 268. Contemporary Art 7, I (summer 1994), p. 71. 2. The Isle of the Dead became so popular that B6cklin produced five versions of it 36. In 1995 Ruff used the negatives of the portraits to create composite images; in between 1880 and 1887. For illustrations of these versions, see Bernd Wolfgang 2000ooo he produced new portraits for the series "to test whether the approach is still Lindemann et al., Arnold Bocklin, exh. cat. (Heidelberg, 2001), pp. 18, 42, and 260o-65. valid." Ruff, as quoted in David Galloway, "Other Faces, Other Rooms," Art News 3. Rolf Andree, Arnold Bocklin: Die Gemalde (Basel/Munich, 1977), p. 449- 22, 2 (Feb. 2000), p. I38. 4. Gustav Floerke, ZehnJahre mit Bocklin (Munich, go1901), p. 80. 37. In their deadpan expressions and "objective" composition, these works also ref- 5. Fritz von Ostini, B6cklin, 6th ed. (Bielefeld/Leipzig, 1913), p. 8o. The first edition erence Richter's 48 Portraits (1971-72; Cologne, Museum Ludwig), and Warhol's of this book was published in 1904. See also Otto Lasius, Arnold B6cklin aus den 1964 series Most Wanted Men, as well as Kiefer's Ways of Worldly Wisdom. Ruff's Tagebiichern von Otto Lasius (?884-?889) (Berlin, 1903), p. 134. early work can be found in R6gis Durand, Thomas Ruff, trans. Brian Holmes and Sylvie Durastanti, exh. cat. (Paris, 1997). 5. LIEBERMANN ( P P. 86- 8 7). 38. The Bechers' work is illustrated in Klaus Honnef, Rolf Sachsse, and Karin I. Bruno Meyer, "Die akademische Ausstellung in Berlin," Zeitschriftfiir bildende Thomas, eds., German Photography 1870-1970: Power of a Medium, trans. Pauline Kunst 8 (1873), p. 120. Cumbers and Ishbel Flett (Cologne, 1997). 2. Kenworth Moffett, Meier-Graefe as Art Critic (Munich, 1973), pp. 12-19; Karl 39. See Franz Roh's list distinguishing Expressionism from Magic Realism in Nach- Ulrich Syndram, Kulturpublizistik und nationales Selbstverstdndnis: Untersuchung Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus, Probleme der neuesten europdischen Malerei zur Kunst- und Kulturpolitik in den Rundschau-Zeitschriften des Deutschen Kaiserr- (Leipzig; 1925), p. 119. reiches, 1871-1914 (Berlin, 1989), pp. 127-40. 40. See Honnef, Sachsse, and Thomas (note 38) for illustrations from Sander's 3. Woldemar von Seidlitz, Die Entwickelung der modernen Malerei (Hamburg, 1929 publication. 1897), pp. 17-25- 41. For more on Charcot's 1887 photographic iconographies, see Elaine Showalter, The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 83o-ig980 (New York, 6. KOLLWITZ (PP. 87-88). I985); for a reading of Ploi3's I885 ethnographic project of recording the life stages of I. Kollwitz's father was a member of the German Social Democratic Worker's Party, the female species, especially in regard to physiognomy, see Stephanie D'Alessandro, and her maternal grandfather was the founder of the first German Protestant Free "A Lustful Passion for Clarification: Bildung, Aufklarung, and the Sight of Sexual Religious Congregation, a liberal religious community. Imagery," in Studies in 2oth Century Literature 22, I (winter 1998), pp. 83-128; the 2. K~ithe Kollwitz, Briefe der Freundschaft und Begegnungen, ed. Hans Kollwitz importance of photography for Lombroso's 1876 project is discussed in Robert A. (Munich, I966), pp. 22-23. Sobieszek, Ghost in the Shell: Photography and the Human Soul, ?85o-2000, exh. 3. For illustrations and additional information on the portfolio, see Alexandra von cat. (Los Angeles/Cambridge, Mass., 1999). dem Knesebeck, Kiithe Kollwitz: Diepraigenden ahre (Petersberg, 1998), pp. II8--205. 42. Ruff, as quoted in Thomas Wulffen, "Thomas Ruff: Reality so Real It's 4. A. L. Plehn, "K~ithe Kollwitz," Die Kunst 5 (1902), pp. 227-28. Unrecognizable," Flash Art 168 (Jan.-Feb. 1993), p. 66. The formal similarity to early mug shots (tellingly called "speaking likenesses" in France) is apt: for a 1995 exhibi- 8. HODLER ( P P. 90-9 1 ). tion, Ruff used outmoded police equipment to combine these portraits in the method I. Ferdinand Hodler, "The Mission of the Artist," a lecture given to the Soci~ti des of nineteenth-century eugenicist Francis Galton. Overlaying the negatives, he pro- Beaux-Arts in Fribourg on Mar. 12, 1897, as quoted in Peter Selz, Ferdinand Hodler duced a single composite image or "type," one with its roots in criminal identification (Berkeley, 1972), P. 123. but pressing our reliance on the visual as fact. The project is documented in Thomas 2. He entered a painting in the 1891 Salon du Champ-de-Mars, which was presided Ruff, Thomas Ruff. Andere Portraits +3D (Ostfildem, I995). over by the Symbolist painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, and received support from 111 NOTES systems of thought to defeod the church; see ihid., p. 51. Alternatively, Donald Kuspit ideotified the source of the title from an old texthook; see Donald Kuspit, "Transmuting Externalization in Anselm Kiefer," Arcs Magazine 59, 2 (Oct. 1984), pp. 84-86. 23. See Ida Katherine Righy, "The Revival of Printmaking in Germany," in Stephanie Barron and Bruce Davis, German Expressionist Prints and Drawings: The Robert Gore Rifkind Cencerfor Expressionist Studies (Los Angeles/Munich/New York, 1989), vol. s, pp. 39-64; and Rohin Reisenfeld, "Cultural Identity and Artistic Practice: The Revival of the German Woodcut" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1993). 24. Por more on these politically motivated and anti-Modernist shows, see Stephanie Barron, "Degenerate Art": The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, exh. cat. (Los Angeles/New York, iggi); and Christoph Zuschlag, "Entartete Kunst": Ausstel- lungsstrategien im Nazi-Deutschland (Worms, 1995), esp. p. 300 and following. 25. Jane Kramer, "Living with Berlin," New Yorker (July 5, 1999), p. 45. 26. Norman Poster, "Preface," in Bernhard Schulz, The Reichstag: The Parliament Building by Norman Foster (Munich/New York, 2000), p. 9. 27. See Anthony d'Offay Gallery, unpuhlished exhihition hrochure for "Weight on Drivers" (London, Dec. 1993-Jan. 1994). 28. Benys's Burned Door is illustrated in Lothar Schirmer, ed., Joseph Beuys: Fine Werkiibersicht (Munich, 1996), pl. 39. 29. Por a fascinating examination of Schwitters's Merzbilder, his larger Merzbau project, and the elevation of society's waste, see Roger Cardinal, "Collecting and Collage-Making: The Case of Kurt Schwitters," in John Elsner and Roger Cardinal, eds., The Cultures of Collecting (London, 1994), pp. 68-96. 30. The association with Goethe is important: Mucha himself has pointed out the similarity of the surface pattern of Weimar and the wood-slat fapade of Goethe's home in Weimar. 31. For an illustration of this photograph, see Gillen (note 3), p. 358-59. 32. Waartesaal is illustrated in Gudrun Inhoden, Reinhard Mucha: Gladbeck, exh. cat. (Paris, 1986). Por more on Mocha and the theme of travel, see Germano Celant, "Stations on a Journey," Artforum 24, 4 (Dec. 1985), pp. 76-79; Anna Moszynska, "Train Spotting," Art Monthly 174 (Mar. 1994), PP. 7-11; and Jerry Saltz, "History's Train," Art in America 82, 1 (Jan. 1994), pp. -8-8o. 33. See, for example, works such as Rattenk/inig (Rat King) (1991-93; Basel, Emmanuel Hoffman Stiftung) and Kind mit Pudeln (Child with Poodles) (1995-96; San Prancisco Museum of Modern Art), illustrated in Gary Garrels and Theodora Vischer, Katharina Fritsch, exh. cat. (San Francisco/ Basel, 1996), pls. 20, 22. 34. Wackenroder's text is reprinted in Elizaheth Basye Gilmore Hole, From the Classicists to the Impressionists: A Documentary History of Art and Architecture in the i9th Century (Garden City, N.Y, 1966). 35. As quoted in Katharina Pritsch, interview with Matthias Wiozen, Journal of Contemporary Art 7, 1 (summer 1994), p. 71. 36. In 1995 Ruff used the negatives of the portraits to create composite images; in 2000 he produced new portraits for the series "to test whether the approach is still valid." Ruff, as quoted in David Galloway, "Other Paces, Other Rooms," Art News 22, 2 (Feb. 2000), p. 138. 37. In their deadpan expressions and "ohjective" composition, these works also ref- erence Richter's 48 Portraits (0971-72; Cologne, Museum Ludwig), and Warhol's 1964 series Most Wanted Men, as well as Kiefer's Ways of Worldly Wisdom. Ruff's early work can he found in Rlgis Durand, Thomas Ruff, trans. Brian Holmes and Sylvie Durastanti, exh. cat. (Paris, 1997). 38. The Bechers' work is illustrated in Klaus Honnef, Rolf Sachsse, and Karin Thomas, eds., German Photography 1870-1970: Power of a Medium, trans. Pauline Cumhers and Ishhel Plert (Cologne, 1997). 39. See Franz Roh's list distinguishing Expressionism from Magic Realism in Nach- Expressionismus: Magiacher Realismus, Probleme der neuesten europiischen Malerei (Leipzig, 1925), p. 119. 40. See Honnef, Sachsse, and Thomas (note 38) for illustrations from Sander's 1929 puhlication. 41. For more on Charcot's 1887 photographic iconographies, see Elaine Showalter, The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 183 o-ig80 (New York, 1985); for a reading of Plofi's 1885 ethnographic project of recording the life stages of the female species, especially in regard to physiognomy, see Stephanie D'Alessandro, "A Lustful Passion for Clarification: Bildung, Aufklarung, and the Sight of Sexual Imagery," in Studies in 20th Century Literature 22, 1 (winter 1998), PP. 83-128; the importance of photography for Lomhroso's 1876 project is discussed in Rohert A. Sobieszek, Ghost in the Shell: Photography and the Human Soul, 180o-2000, exh. cat. (Los Angeles/Camhridge, Mass., 5999). 42. Ruff, as quoted in Thomas Wulffen, "Thomas Ruff: Reality so Real It's Unrecognizahle," Flash Art s68 (Jan.-Peh. 5993), p. 66. The formal similarity to early mug shots (tellingly called "speaking likenesses" in Prance) is apt: for a 1995 exhihi- tion, Ruff used outmoded police equipment to comhine these portraits in the method of nineteenth-century eugenicist Prancis Galton. Overlaying the negatives, he pro- duced a single composite image or "type," one with its roots in criminal identification hut pressing our reliance on the visual as fact. The project is documented in Thomas Ruff, Thomas Ru/ff Andere Portriits + 3D (Ostfildern, 1995). 43. For more on Gursky, see Alex Alherro and Katy Siegel, "The Big Picture," Artforum 39, 5 (Jan. 2001), pp. 104-114; see also Peter Galassi, Andreas Gurshy, exh. cat. (New York, 2001). 44. See Gerard Hadders et al., German Open: Gegenwartskunst in Deutschland, exh. cat. (Wolfshurg, 2000). 1. REINHARDT (PP. 82-83). i. See J. J.Winckelmann, Reflections on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture, trans. Elfriede Heyer and Roger C. Norton (La Salle, Ill., 1987); and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, La/icoon: An Essay on the Limits ofPainting and Poetry, trans. Edward Allen McCormick (Baltimore, 1984). 2. Quoted in Huhert Schrade, German Romantic Painting, trans. Maria Pelikan (New York, 1967), p. 52. 2. BLECHEN (PP. 83-84). i. Blechen's set designs, as well as a drawing in reverse (Saarhriicken, Saarland Museum) that served as a model for this lithograph, are reproduced in Peter-Klaus Schuster, ed., Carl Blechen: Zwischen Romantik und Realismus (Munich, 1990). 3. BLECHEN (PP. 84-85). s. The primary figures of German Romanticism, Caspar David Priedrich and Philipp Otto Runge, hroke artistic ground hy infusing landscape painting with a sense of the spiritual. Although a numher of their followers -Blechen, Johann Christian Clausen Dahl, Perdinand Oehme, and Karl Priedrich Schinkel (see Morton, fig. 6)-contin- ued the idiom, their increasing interest in naturalism diluted the style's poetic potential. 2. See Peter-Klaus Schuster, ed., Carl Blechen: Zwischen Romantik und Realismus (Munich, 19go). 3. This painting was the culmination of an intense period of study Blechen undertook to complete his commission. The two commissioned pictures are still displayed as art of the former royal collection in the Stastliche Schlisser und Garten, Potsdam- Sansoocci. Oil sketches for the pair are in the Hamburger Kuosthalle and the National- galerie, Berlin, which also houses a number of preparatory drawings. See Karl Blechen: Leben, Wiirdigungen, Werk (Berlin, 1940). The Art Institute's final version was bought hy Priedrich Wilhelm III and given to his daughter, the Czarina of Russia. 4. Carl Gustav Carus, "Das Palmenhaus auf dec Pfaoeninsel," in Cellertbuch, ed. Perdinand Naumann (Dresden, 1854), PP. 186-89. 4. BOCKLIN (PP. 85-86). i. Elizaheth Barnes Putz, "Classical Antiquity in the Painting of Arnold Bicklin" (Ph.D. diss., University of California at Berkeley, 1979), p. 268. 2. The Isle of the Dead hecame so popular that B6cklin produced five versions of it hetween i88o and 1887. Por illustrations of these versions, see Bernd Wolfgang Lindemann et al., Arnold Biicklin, exh. cat. (Heidelherg, 2001), pp. 18, 42, and 260-65. 3. Rolf Andree, Arnold Bscklin: Die Gem/dde (Basel/Munich, 1977), p. 449. 4. Gustav Ploerke, Zehojabre mit B/icklin (Munich, 1go1), p. So. 5. Pritz von Ostini, B/icklin, 6th ed. (Bielefeld/Leipzig, 1913), p. 8o. The first edition of this hook was published in 1904. See also Otto Lasios, Arnold B/cklin aus den Tagebiichern von Otto Lasius (1884-1889) (Berlin, 1903), p. 134. 5. LIEBERMANN (PP. 86-87). i. Bruno Meyer, "Die akademisthe Ausseellung in Berlin," Zeitschriftfiir bildende Kunst 8 (1873), p. 120. 2. Kenworth Moffett, Meier-Graefe as Art Critic (Munich, 1973), PP. 12-i9; Karl Ulrich Syndram, Kulturpublizistik und nationales Selbstverstdndnis: Uneersuchung zur Kunst- und Kulturpolitik in den Rundschau-Zeitschriften des Deutschen Kaiserr- reiches, 1871-1914 (Berlin, 1989), pp. 127-40. 3. Woldemar von Seidlitz, Die Enewickelung dec modernen Malerei (Hamhurg, 1897), pp. 17-25- 6. KOLLWITZ (PP. 87-88). I. Kollwitz's father was a memher of the German Social Democratic Worker's Party, and her maternal grandfather was the founder of the first German Protestant Pree Religious Congregation, a liheral religious community. 2. Klthe Kollwitz, Briefe der Freundschaft und Begegnungen, ed. Hans Kollwitz (Munich, 1966), pp. 22-23. 3. Por illustrations and additional information on the portfolio, see Alexandra von dem Kneseheck, Kdithe Kollwitz: DieprnigendenJahre (Petersherg, 1998), pp. 118-205. 4. A. L. Pleho, "Kdthe Kollwitz," Die Kunst 5 (1902), pp. 227-28. 8. HODLER (PP. 90-91). i. Perdinand Hodler, "The Mission of the Artist," a lecture given to the Soci/t6 des Beaux-Arts in Fribourg on Mar. 12, 1897, as quoted in Peter Selz, Ferdinand Hodler (Berkeley, 1972), p. 123. 2. He entered a painting in the 1891 Salon do Champ-de-Mars, which was presided over hy the Symholise painter Pierre Povis de Chavannes, and received support from This content downloaded from 188.72.127.191 on Sat, 14 Jun 2014 11:28:43 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspArticle Contentsp. 67p. [66]p. 68p. 69p. 70p. 71p. 72p. 73p. 74p. 75p. 76p. 77p. 78p. 79p. 80p. 81p. 110p. 111Issue Table of ContentsArt Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1, Negotiating History: German Art and the Past (2002), pp. 1-112Front Matter [pp. 1-4]Introduction [pp. 5-7+106]German Romanticism: The Search for "A Quiet Place" [pp. 8-23+106-107]Neo-Idealism, Expressionism, and the Writing of Art History [pp. 24-37+107-108]"A Clear and Simple Style": Tradition and Typology in New Objectivity [pp. 38-51+108-109]Georg Baselitz Grounded [pp. 52-65+109-110]History by Degrees: The Place of the Past in Contemporary German Art [pp. 66-81+110-111]PortFolio [pp. 82-105+111-112]Notes [pp. 106-112]Back Matter