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At the center of this volume are the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) artists―Otto Dix, George Grosz and Albert Renger-Patzsch―and the groundbreaking photographer August Sander, in particular his famed series People of the 20th Century, which portrayed both prominent and anonymous Germans from all parts of society in a simple and matter-of-fact pictorial style. Sander and the Neue Sachlichkeit artists both pursued an anti-Expressionist aesthetic, embracing social engagement and a rejection of romantic idealism. The Cold Gaze also looks at the extraordinary writers associated with the Weimar Republic, such as Vicki Baum, Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Döblin, Hans Fallada, Erich Kästner and Christopher Isherwood. Further points of focus by a range of contributing writers include Germany’s Americanization during this period; Marcel Breuer’s innovations in furniture design; the invention and ascent of the Futura font; the Weimar cult of technology; and much more.
This richly illustrated catalog unfolds a period that was at once euphoric and harsh, an extraordinary moment in modernity birthed in the shadows between two world wars.