Comic Grotesque  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

Comic Grotesque: Wit And Mockery In German Art, 1870-1940 is an art history book edited by Pamela Kort published by Prestel Publishing Co. in December 2004. Filled with irreverent wit, comical elements, and absurdist humor, the concept of the grotesque has fascinated artists since ancient times, but it achieved importance as a novel aesthetic approach in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Starting with Arnold Böcklin’s grotesque pictorial compositions, this volume, accompanying an exhibition at Neue Galerie New York, brings together an array of artists who drew inspiration from grotesque ideas about disorder, distortion, and inanity, including Lovis Corinth, Paul Klee, Max Klinger, Otto Dix, Alfred Kubin, Kurt Schwitters, and Emil Nolde. Essays consider the frequently overlooked connection between the visual arts and other media, specifically the rise of cabaret culture and humor magazines. In addition, the authors examine the legacy of the grotesque movement as seen in modern drama, art, and performance. With nearly two hundred color and black-and-white illustrations, this striking collection traces the evolution of a largely ignored, but hugely influential, movement in modern art.


Grotesk! 130 Jahre Kunst der Frechheit [Grotesque! 130 Years of Impertinent Art] was the original title of this exhibition. It traveled from Munich to Berlin London and finally New York. The book has a foreword by Max Hollein and Chris Dercon; Essays by Hanne Bergius, Ralf Burmeister, Frances Connelly, Lisbeth Exner, Harald Falckenberg, Michael Farin, Peter Jelavich, Pamela Kort And Gregor Wedekind.

ISBN 3791331957


Hugo Ball, Carl Einstein, Karl Valentin, Mynona, Paul Klee, Paul Scheerbart, Arnold Böcklin, Emil Nolde, Thomas Theodor Heine, Lyonel Feininger, George Grosz, Max Ernst, Hannah Höch

See also

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