This article will focus on the life and work of Hannah Höch. According to about.com, Hannah’s name at birth was Johanne. She was born in Gotha, Germany on Nov. 9, 1889. She was an artist and painter and the co-founder of Berlin Dada, avant-garde art movement. Hannah’s schooling was interrupted because she needed to take care of her sister who was ill at the time. Hannah Höch was only 15 years old when she was required to leave school; however, she was able to return when she was 22. Wikipedia states that to please her father, she had studied glass design in Berlin from 1912- 1914. When the war broke out, she once again had to postpone her studies. .She used that time at home to work for the Red Cross. By the following year she returned to her studies at the National Institute of the Museum of Arts and Crafts where she again continued with graphics.
The Berlin Dada Movement
Wikipedia goes to say that while Hannah Höch was at the National Institute she befriended Raoul Hausmann who was part of the Berlin Dada movement. The Dada movement was formed as a reaction to World War I through the rejection of traditional art. The artists in this movement showed disdain for the middle class bourgeoisie. The members believed the bourgeoisie were instrumental in creating the conditions congruent to make way for the war. The paintings of the times were illogical and erratic and portrayed the way the painters saw the German middle class at the time. Dadaism was a precursor for surrealism and other arts forms.
About.com informs us that during these early years, Hannah Höch, worked at a publisher. Later, she worked designing dresses. She also carried on an affair with Raoul Hausmann from 1915 -1922. Her involvement with Hausman led her to become the only woman in the Dada movement at the time. Hannah admitted to being less politically driven than the other members of the movement. Their work was often satirical; but, Hannah, preferred social trends portraying the new German woman in her paintings.
About com. further stipulates that her association with the Data movement in the 1920s, and her association with Hausman, led to the art concept of photomontage. They were pioneers in this art form.. Hannah, “began a series of photomontages including images of women and of ethnographic objects from museums.” She combined photos from various publications, along with collage techniques, photos, and paintings. Nine of her photomontage artwork were included in the First International Dada Fair held in 1920. Her personal life also had an influence on her work. The site also states that she spent some time in a lesbian relationship with dutch poet Til Brugmanand. Some of her later works reflex on women in a same sex relationship.
The writer of the article for about.com, Jone Johnson Lewis, continues by saying that Hannah, was forbidden from exhibiting her work during the Third Reich, because they regarded the Dada movement as “degenerate.” Lewis states that Hannah, lived in seclusion staying away from the limelight during this period. She also married a businessman and painter, who was a much younger man. She was married to him from 1938 – 1944. Unfortunately, Hannah’s work never regained its popularity from before the war; but, she still remained active exhibiting her work after the war, and until her death in 1978. The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Nationalgalerie Berlin displayed a review of her work in 1976.