Revisiting the father of photomontage, John Heartfield. Armed with scissors, paste and acerbic wit, Heartfield used art as a political weapon. Risking his life under Hitler’s Third Reich, he subverted Nazi imagery to reveal the political threats of 1930s Germany.
80 years since the outbreak of World War Two, Heartfield’s work foregrounds the need for artistic agitation in challenging times. His striking photomontages offer inspiration in our own era of rising far-right politics, racism and the blurring of fact and fake news.
33 of Heartfield's scathingly satirical artworks are shown alongside a fascinating collection of historic artefacts.
Visual Dissent Photomontage artist Peter Kennard discusses the influence of Heartfield upon his work, and presents his new book Visual Dissent. Book here
Trademark John Heartfield Professor Andres Zervigon (Rutgers University) discusses Heartfield's iconic work 'The Hand Has Five Fingers', with a Q&A chaired by Professor Steve Edwards (Birkbeck, University of London) Book here
From Heartfield to Memes: Lessons from History Sabine Kriebel (University College Cork) discusses the significance of John Heartfield's mass-circulation photomontages in today's era of the meme. Book here
This exhibition brings together work by Dorothy Bohm, Gerti Deutsch and Lotte Meitner-Graf alongside lesser-known women photographers who came to Britain as refugees in the 1930s.
Showcasing portraiture, photo-stories and East End street photography, the exhibition will reflect upon these artists' representations of 'Britishness', considering how their experience as female outsiders shaped their images.
A public talks programme will collaborate with Fast Forward Women in Photography to explore the work of contemporary women photographers from migrant and displaced backgrounds.
More details coming soon.
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England & the Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust
Further information and work by John Heartfield can be found at Akademie der Künste archives and The Official John Heartfield Exhibition, a website curated by John Heartfield's grandson, John J Heartfield.