HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)
HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION
HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)


HANNAH HÖCH (1889-1978)
signed and dated 'H. Höch 22.' (lower right); inscribed 'Poesie' (lower left)
paper, string and wax collage and brush and pen and India ink on paper
10 1/8 x 7 ¾ in. (25.7 x 20 cm.)
Executed in 1922
Private collection, North Germany, by whom acquired directly from the artist, between 1962 and 1965.
J. Pierre, 'Hannah Höch et le photomontage des Dadaïstes berlinois', in Techniques graphiques, Paris, November - December 1966, no. 66 (illustrated).
M. Lavin, Cut with the Kitchen Knife, The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Höch, New Haven & London, 1993, no. 24, p. 42 (illustrated).
Vienna, Europäisches Forum Alpbach, Dada bis heute, August - September 1965, no. 87; this exhibition later travelled to Linz, Neue Galerie der Stadt, September - October 1965; and Graz, Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, October - November 1965.
Lausanne, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Berlin XXe siècle: De l'expressionnisme à l'art contemporain, November 1968 - January 1969, no. 154, n.p.
Kassel, Kunstverein, Hannah Höch, Ölbilder, Aquarelle, Collagen, Gouachen, May - June 1969, no. 85, n.p.
Berlin, Akademie der Künste, Hannah Höch, Collagen aus den Jahren 1916-1971, May - July 1971, no. 11, p. 74; this exhibition later travelled to Dusseldorf, Kunsthalle, October - November 1971.
Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Akademie der Künste und Große Orangerie des Schlosses Charlottenburg, Tendenzen der Zwanziger Jahre, 15. Europäische Kunstausstellung, August - October 1977, no. 3/436.
Atlanta, High Museum of Art, Art in Berlin: 1815-1989, November 1989 - January 1990, no. 43, p. 251 (illustrated p. 148).
Minneapolis, Walker Art Centre, The Photomontages of Hannah Höch, October 1996 - February 1997, no. 21, p. 44; this exhibition later travelled to New York, The Museum of Modern Art, February - May 1997; and Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June - September 1997.
Munich, Kunstverein, Die verletzte Diva: Hysterie, Körper, Technik in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, March - May 2000, p. 260 (illustrated p. 261).
Hanover, Sprengel Museum, Merz-gebiete, Kurt Schwitters und seine Freunde, October 2006 - February 2007, no. 46, p. 209 (illustrated p. 47); this exhibition later travelled to Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, February - May 2007.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Post lot text
Dr. Ralf Burmeister has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

Created in the same year the artist began to disentangle herself from the Berlin DADA group, Poesie (Poetry) is an elegant example of Hannah Höch's richly complex, multi-layered collages from the early 1920s. At this time, her photomontages and work in collage were becoming more ordered and restrained under the growing influence of Constructivism and the Merzbilder of Kurt Schwitters, with whom the artist shared a close personal friendship. In Poesie, Höch draws together fragments of coloured paper, pieces of string and clippings of printed text, which are placed in a haphazard arrangement atop geometric drawings in pen and ink, to assemble a 'poem' made up of disjointed phrases and elements.

Discussing the use of text in her practice, Höch explained: 'Our whole purpose was to integrate objects from the world of machines and industry into the world of art. Our typographical collages or montages also set out to achieve similar effects by imposing, on something which could only be produced by hand, the appearances of something that had been entirely composed by a machine; in an imaginative composition, we used to bring together elements borrowed from printed books, newspapers, posters or leaflets, in an arrangement that no machine could yet compose' (quoted in E. Roditi, Dialogues: Conversations with European Artists at Mid-Century, San Francisco, 1990, p. 69).

There is a deliberately strange, almost absurdist pattern to the words that Höch has pasted together in Poesie, with phrases such as 'Die Jungfrau/pumpt feierlich Träume' (The virgin/Solemnly pumps dreams) conjuring an almost Surrealist narrative. At the same time, Höch references classical German literature by including the word 'Tandaradei', an onomatopoeic imitation of the nightingale song that appears in the minstrel song Under der linden, written by the medieval poet Walther von der Vogelweide. Though echoing the patterns and structures of Dada tone poems, Höch's choice of wording and the connections she suggests between each fragment and phrase appear to offer a cutting critique of the tropes and leitmotifs used by writers to express romance, desire, and love.

Die Jungfrau
pumpt feierlich Träume
Nacht verstopft
dunkel ist das Weltgewissen
The virgin
Solemnly pumps dreams
Night congested
dark is the world conscience
she mates

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