John Heartfield: Laughter is a Devastating Weapon
'a fascinating overview of Heartfield’s work' - Spiked online
This large-format overview of the work of John Heartfield draws on the superlative collections of the Academie der Kunst, Berlin, and the David King collection at Tate Modern. Born in Berlin in 1891, Heartfield, along with George Grosz, is widely considered to have invented photomontage, a technique of cutting up and manipulating photographs. During the 1930s Heartfield s engagement with this medium produced some of the most visually arresting and politically hard-hitting artwork of the twentieth century, appropriating the widely-circulated propaganda of the time to create its total antithesis.
John Heartfield began his career as a graphic designer who produced 237 photomontages for the Communist weekly AIZ and Volks Illustrierte. In his own words, he used laughter as a devastating weapon to target the Nazi regime of violence and demagogy, but this in turn made he himself a target for Nazi scorn and censorship. In 1933 much of his work was destroyed when the Gestapo ransacked his studio, and the ensuing years saw him flee in exile around Europe where he continued to produce his brilliantly terrifying images. The book includes over 150 full-colour reproductions of Heartfield's beautiful and powerful work, both in its original and printed forms, as well as documentary photographs and recollections from Heartfield's surviving family members.
- Author: David King and Ernst Volland
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Date published: June 2015
- Language: English
- ISBN: 978-1849761840
- Product Dimensions: 30.5 x 25.4 x 2.5 cm