Exhibit: Radical Departures – The Modernist Experiment

At the Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery, through August 7, 2011


This exhibit brings together the work of Jewish and non-Jewish German artists whose work was eventually branded as “degenerate” by the Nazis and who were forced to flee Germany. On display will be works by Georg Stahl, Arthur Segal, Julius Schülein, Samson Schames, and others.

The exhibit focuses on Stahl, who responded to the political turmoil of the Weimar Republic, and later World War II and the Holocaust, with work that moved from a modernist style in the 1920’s to pure abstraction in the 1950’s.

In the years following the cataclysmic events of World War I, the tenets of modernism, developed in the early parts of the century, began to crumble. Amid hyperinflation, staggering unemployment, and political turmoil, many artists questioned the existing political order, joining forces with progressive political movements, although continuing to work in a modernist style. Georg Stahl, who lived in Kassel at the time, first joined the Socialist party and later the Communist party.

In other parts of the country, artists looked to Munich where the Independent Social Democratic Party staged an uprising against the Bavarian monarchy on November 7, 1918 that was subsequently referred to as the “November Revolution.” In its wake, a group of visual artists, musicians, and writers established the Novembergruppe (November Group) among whose many members were Arthur Segal, Lou Albert-Lazard, and Gert Wollheim. Although they worked in different styles, they were united by their aspiration to integrate the arts into the social fabric and set new standards for public art.


Katherine and Clifford H. Goldsmith Gallery
The Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011

April 7, 2011 – August 7, 2011
Admission Free

Gallery hours:
Sunday: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday to Thursday: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

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