Art in Germany

art in germany

Art in Germany is known throughout the world for being on the cutting edge, and, ironically, Germany’s former Nazi rules are responsible for that. By holding up for ridicule great works of art in Germany, the evil Nazi’s inadvertently helped propel many great painters to international fame. The art-loving public, it turns out, was not so eager to take the Nazis’ word that 20th century master artists like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinkski, Edvard Munch and even Pablo Picasso were simply madmen. When the Nazis’ placed works from all of these painters (and many others) in a much-publicized 1937 exhibition of “degenerate art,” they intended to discourage such art in Germany. But the exhibition is widely credited with having the opposite affect. The public appreciated and loved the “degenerate” works so much that some writers say the exhibition marks beginning of the Nazis’ fall from power. Indeed, art in Germany, – perhaps more than art in any other nation — is now widely known for taking chances and being amazingly innovative. Such is the overall style of each and every degenerate.

Going Home

Art in Germany today has its roots in the modernists habits of the great early-and-mid-20th century painters. Modernists saw that photography took over the traditional painter’s job of creating realistic-looking images and, therefore, did not restrict themselves to being “picture perfect” in their work. Modernists experimented with art that went beyond what a person can see in the world and brought emotions – and sometimes even the other senses — into play in their work. This resulted in amazing complex work that was sometimes misunderstood or unappreciated. That same style is the most prevalent today among all art in Germany. Art in Germany generally comes from several movements (or schools) that were spawned by the overall modernist movement. Perhaps the most famous of these is called Dada. The others are Bauhaus, Die Brucke, and Der Blau Reiter.


The Dada school, one of the most influential of all art in Germany, takes the overall modernist philosophy of art a step further than most other schools. Whereas modernism, in general, treats a painting as something that can go beyond what a photograph can do, Dada tends to blend painting and photography into an entirely new form of art. Berlin is considered by many to be the birthplace of the art form known as photomontage that is characteristic of so much art in Germany today. This new form came directly from Dada school practitioners in Berlin. In general, all art in Germany since the early 20th Century has a tendency to be a reaction against society’s ills. Statements against war, violence, and injustice (and in favor of peace and a spiritual lifestyle) are common to much art in Germany today. The same can be said, of course, of art around the globe today. But it’s ironic – and even inspiring – that such art in Germany today owes a big part of its popularity to the fact that the evil Nazis’ once hated it so.