August 24, 2008

Eva Lake on Hannah Höch

Blogging painter Eva Lake reports today that reading The Photomontages of Hannah Höchhas been both inspiring and depressing. "When I first discovered Dada in the 70s, I read everything I could find. There wasn’t much on Höch at all, no monographs that I could find. And so I bought my books on John Heartfield and became the resident expert on him. I’d say that I still love him best today, but then again, it’s not like I had all this choice. You can’t like what you don’t know. For years Höch was only known within a certain context: the Dada years. She was even called 'The Good Girl' by Hans Richter, a dismissive remark if there ever was one, especially if you compare the work of the two artists. He made nice abstract films, while Cut with Kitchen Knife is just the tip of the iceberg on the tough cuts Hannah Höch achieved over a lifetime of art-making. And that’s the real deal: emphasis on a lifetime. I knew she was working into old age only because she was listed in Femail Art, produced by Anna Banana in 1978. Her address was listed in the back pages, along with Yoko Ono’s (and my own). As soon as Femail Art came out, I was writing these illustrious women. I wrote the letter to Höch all in German, which I had studied in school. The letter was returned with something like Abgestorben stamped all over it. I was just a little late – she was dead. " Read more.

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