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HANNAH

a montage of

HÖCH

by ana maria garcia


d

The rubble that World War I left

set out to push the boundaries of art and push the buttons of the public with scathing criticism of societal norms and the political climate. Hannah Höch became a prominent figure in dada as one of the only woman and inventing the photomontage. Höch took images from conventional mass media publications and re-contextualized the Weimar Republic’s changing political regime, Germany’s New Woman, 29 and so much more changing dada and art forever.

uncovered a lot of truths about society — corruption, repressive social values, oppression and hate, and unquestioning conformity. In response to this disillusionment arose dada. Dada was an art movement that began in Zürich, Switzerland in 1916 and expanded internationally amongst artists aiming to question society’s preconceived notion of art. Dada

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UCH.es » j5uR0ER

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ERWAR THE INT

DER KLEIN EP (The Sm all P)

HANNAH

THE INTERW AR PERIOD

LICHES BURGER

R

AA BRAUTP

PERIOD

(STREIT)

PHOTOM 1/16 I 15 X 12 PRIVATE

ST A A TSHAUP 6 COLLECTION

INSTITUT

n pho For this work, Floch used a well-know jus resort

GustavNoske,taken at a BalticSea er—parod Jlluftrirte3eitung at the time a Communistsympathiz asso

ures atop an iron-on embroiderypattern, . Fl the female domain of leisured relaxation Panorama(pi.2). — MM

65

8/i6

S DAYEAR THEDA

BIZ 28, no.34 (24 August 1919), cover

1931

PHOTOMON TAGE 17 n X 12 y IN. (45 X 32 CM) COLLECTIO N STA ATS G ALERIE STUTTG

ART A composite imageof an adu basedon the lt male and a ins tograph of the criptionat the lower righ bawling baby, this photom t of the image. work, now in ont age has been kno one. "Der kle the HannahHo Yet, as Hoch wn for ine not u subsequently Pg" had been inscribed ch Archiveat the Berlinis ed somewhatenigmatic years as TheSmall P, ttftittt earlier,just bel cheGalerie,this removed.Wh allyon the bac tig$*er ow memberof the en k 6re<$ NationalSoc the collage is held in a rakthe "H.H." that is now at thenonsensicaltitle was not theof a pho the press ialistPar ing ligh er lower origin


28

THE DADA

MJ 33 44AN THE

uple dding Co ois We (Bourge

HOCH

DADA

]) [Quarrel

YEAR S

i9

E MONTAG CM) X 30.6 IN. (38 TION COLLEC

E

PTER

3 ( Heads

6 of State)

1918-1920

DA

DAND

PHOT

Y

19

19 OMON PHOTOMONTAGE 11 ' Vi TAGE Durin 6X 9 gthe CM) '/is IN vanXD23.3 ea Vs X 9 Vi6 IN. (16.2 . (30 PRIV oesbur rlyWeim X 23 ATE back arera STUTTGART CM) COLL g, NGEN, SBEZIEHU H in T FUR AUSLAND ECTI "New g paper H ans Arp, SaHoch often ON och le Wom m lo ade si mo Fr encing en ft the fa ." By titling exposedar iedlaend lhouettepoMinister scinat th anderDefense rtraits ,and ot Ebert e wor ou ndthe Friedrich President io Reich , n k cu German he of of ou D — t from otograph rsFloch a Dansigned the Dnhad been tli into . of law. ad blac dy, H ne e, his he Herfig st two weeksafter the Weimarconstitutio aist s collaging ad, su the silhou k or white paunchy h iden particuoctheir of state" by(in ette of bs pape lar,Geo tifiedbut diedthese SocialDemocratic"heads th with umes r, llymalerealmof state formation rgeG is malefig fragmen a man, acceof friends te ro Dada ur ociatingthem not with the traditiona ntuate such as of Ebert and Noske in the related szand Rao e as both adimagesof fa Nelly d by a loch used the same source image ulHau D sman adaistand shionable, bit of red n)with se a fashio dandy, th ductive us refe n. M r M

YEAR S

HANNAH

HOCH

•• höch

/’dädä/

19 6

1

.

3


introducing....

the

tag

n h p Ot mö o

HANNAH HOCH

36

erliner Jllu|lrfrt» 3rllung.

verso of a photoengraved portrait of Emperor d fled to the Netherlands.By grotesquelydisfig densfurst(a misspelling,perhaps deliberate,of biguouslyconveyedher disdainfor this erstwhile any'spolitics in the aftermath of the abdication. FourteenPoints upon which Germanybased its beside the word Deutsche (German)at the top au(panorama)at the upper-right corner. Photo dgesreferencethe widespreadnationalistoppo der is parodied with ludicrous images of Reich ng suits, also used in Heads of State (pi. 3). By ght corner, a well-known imageof a soldier atop Spartacist revolt, Hoch connects the represen corder of the Empire,referencedat the lower left g the few women pictured is Anna von Giercke, in 1919, when Germanwomen voted for the first Harnack,two other femalepoliticians.The phrase Hjannah] Hjoch]), may referto the impact Hoch 4

.

HANNAHHOCH

26

Berliner Jllu|lrfrt» 3rllun lltftranHcnlofc

>iingcrch6r

2

DADA-RUNDSCHAU

PHOTOMONTAGE

/i6

WITH GOUACHE 17 Vu X 13 9

(Dada Panorama)

1919

AND WATERCOLOR

ON CARDBOARD

IN. (43.7 X 34.5 CM)


Spreads from Hannah Höch's personal scrapbook

gE

“There are no limits to the materials available for pictorial collages—above all they can be found in photography, but also in writing and printed matter, and in waste products.”

With the rise of printing, photography

rials that try to push conformity and propaganda to the masses, OHNE TIT EL ( from everything to reportage had become more widespread photography, political portrai-PHOTOMO and readily available, letting ture, newspaper clippings 14and X 12 IN. (3 Hannah Höch give birth to the headlines, fashion magazines, MORTON G. NEUMANN photomontage. Collage was trade journals, and so much not a new art per say, but Höch more. Höch’s photomontages and other dadaists gave it a new out from the rest because Although this workthey often hasstood been dated to 1920, its centralm life when they realized of the powerful messages and ing on the beach (identified in the caption as ClaudiaPawlow can create a new image from heavy comparisons she made came a June 1921 of Die Dame. Hoch replaced cut-outsfrom of a larger collection of issue by her specific chosen material pensive, even melancholic, and movedherfrom the glamoro images and material. Höch and in her montages. She even went cal domestic objects. These include a ball bearing nes her and partner, Raoul Hausmann, farther with her works, making suburban Berlin factory producedtrains and munitions realized that not only can the that self-expressive pieces with these lower right, appliancesturned on their heads.All the technique makekitchen a new image, heavily reproduced images, doubtless through herjob as a designerin the han but it can sayobtained something new. intertwining the representational This was especially important to photography with the abstract Die Dame 48, no. 1921),p. 6 the dada movement as 18 they(late were June patterns, silhouettes, and shapes looking for ways to deal with the of the technique. publications and printing mate-

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with the

kitchen knife dada through the last weimar beerbelly cultural epoch in Germany

During the disarray of the Weimar

Republic, the German state post World War I, came Hannah Höch’s most influential piece: Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany. Höch premiered this piece at the First International Dada Fair in Berlin where she was the group’s only woman to show work. This explosive piece criticizes Weimar Germany’s gender issues, lack of democracy, censorship, and propaganda. Höch uses the image of Karl Liebknecht, a leader of a inner-Republic uprising who was executed, and pastes the words “join dada” coming out

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6

of his mouth. Albert Einstein and photos of machines and skyscrapers criticize German industrialism and Kaiser Wilhelm II is seen with a wrestler’s pair of legs for a mustache. Cut with the Kitchen Knife totally encapsulates dada’s views and attitudes on the Weimar Republic and is a perfect piece to sum up the art movement as a whole.


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the new oma

W

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8


an

Along with the changing times

came new progressive ideas about gender and sexuality in the form of the New Woman. Due to the war, women began entering workforces that were strictly for men, pushing the boundaries of what was expected of women. This led to new ideas of what a ‘woman’ can be. New Women wore pantsuits, smoked and drank, and challenged the traditional housewife stereotype. They were liberated sexually; many women began dating other women, Höch herself included. New Women had a new sense of freedom that did not belong to the women of the past. Printed publications plastered new women all over their pages, pushing this idea of a more progressive world for women, yet, there was a disconnect between this glamorized, commercial new woman, to the real women living during the Weimar Republic. Höch noticed that you are more likely to find New Women in Die Dame, movies, or cabarets than walking down the street of Berlin.

Liberation did not equal equality

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9


HANNAH HOCH

46

6 DA DANDY

100

HANNAH HOCH

THE DADA YEARS

1919

DENKMAL

I (Monument I), from the series Aus einem ethnographischen PHOTOMONTAGE

PHOTOMONTAGE 11 ' Vi6 X 9 '/is IN. (30 X 23 CM) PRIVATE COLLECTION

COLLECTION

BERLINISCHE

Duringthe earlyWeimarera Hoch often made silhouetteportraits, cut from black or white paper, of friends such as Nelly van Doesburg, Hans Arp, Salomo Friedlaender,and others. Here, the silhouette of a man, accentuated by a bit of red backing paper Hoch left exposedaroundthe outline of his head, subsumesfragmentedimagesof fashionable,seductive "New Women." By titling the work Da Dandy, Hoch identifiedthis malefigure as both a Dadaistand a dandy, thus refer encing the fascinationof the Dadaists(in particular,GeorgeGrosz and RaoulHausmann)with fashion. MM

GALERIE,

32

7 Museum (From an Ethnographic

WITH WATERCOLOR

Museum)

1924

ON PAPER

7 "/is X 6 VsIN. (19.6 X 15.5 CM) /i6 LANDESMUSEUM FUR MODERNE KUNST, PHOTOGRAPHIE

DADA-ERNST

1920-1921

PHOTOMONTAGE UND ARCHITEKTUR,

BERLIN

75

X 6 9/16IN. (18.6 X 16.6 CM)

COLLECTION

ARTURO

SCHWARZ,

MILAN

MonumentI is usuallydated to 1924, but the left leg of its figure derivesfrom a 1928 BIZ photo graph of actress LilianHarveyand friends at the beach. (TheThis source forcan thebe figure's other "leg"— title read literally, as "Dada-Serious,"or as a possible punning referenceto Max Ernst, the Cologne-based as yet unlocated—is an upended reproduction of a bent female armwho, and hand.) Thealso headworked was extensivelyin collage and photomontage.— MM Dadaist like Hoch, snippedfrom a photographof a maskfrom Gabon(now in the BarnesFoundation)whilethe torso and arm derivefrom a reproductionof a stone statueof a Thebangoddess.By preciselytrimming and fitting thesevariousbody parts together,Hoch createdan illusionof cohesivewholenessthat is nonethelessimmediatelysubverted by the variouslycolored component paper scraps. The eerie,hybridfigurein this way functions,likethe otherfiguresin the EthnographicMuseumseries, as a psychologicalirritantof the first order. — MM Der Querschnitt4, nos. 2-3 (Summer1924), betweenpp.120 and 121 Der Querschnitt5, no.1 (January1925), betweenpp.64 and 65 BIZ 37, no.30 (22 July 1928), p. 1259

We :

KURJOSITA LETZTEN1

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10

(r*"Niei-tnie her ntobifdje sJ lefttcn 3a t)res f>atb ieltfamc(Snpriolcngcfd)lag fitatcntabinctt bet mcltbc! ii'l um einige cttranngant reidjert roorben. (!s ift ti als eine amiifantc ^netbot rrftdblt, bafj ein 9lmcrt an yerrn auf bet Gtrajje um fiir bie Cigarette nnfprad)


t

under t he cu

eibliche Inkonscquenz. Mannlicher Haarschnitt, mannlicher Anzug und — — Puder und S

Höch usedJ.I. her ' photomontage to

assess how she felt disassociated from New Women. By use of Höch’s method of collection and appropriation, she accumulated mass amounts of new women imagery and made it her own. Höch focused on the feminine poses that women were expected en <£ntroidlung bed to assume, shedding light to the bizarre “liberated” Slurocn unb female body that gets genunb put basuptturio> for display in print and !)crrfd)enben video. Cbottin Assembling together new te cd)auftiicfe bc» in the way Höch women imagery idierlid)does nid)t mebrthe way that womexposed te, menn man en were stillftd) treated unequally to ncr in ^aris men, as eincn dolls, mannequins, dancm ein mcnig fteucrto view. Höch’s ers — objects unb bicfer »|>ert* assemblage of repeated poses and body parts from different medium creates a more disparate

ATEN DES 1AHR£S

"

new women — a womanv --that t . mr* r does not belong to herself, one that is not whole, a collection of feminine behavior. The photomontage defamiliarized the conventionally seen women and gave us an opportunity to look for the contradictions and nuances among the average woman.

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11


26

HANNAHHOCH

29

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THEDADAYEARS

ry

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THE DADA YEARS

25

THE DADAYEARS

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» j5uR0ERUCH.es

frfMirrmAR * ' stre/7") '

44ANMJ HOCH

2

BURGERLICHES

DADA-RUNDSCHAU PHOTOMONTAGE

WITH GOUACHE 17 Vu X 13 9

( OLLEC I ION BERLINISCHE

GALERIE,

LANDESMUSEUM

BRAUTPAAR

1919 ON CARDBOARD

(Bourgeois Wedding Couple [Quarrel])

IE UND ARCHITEKTUR.

i9

15 X 12 1/16 IN. (38 X 30.6 CM) PRIVATE

IN. (43.7 X 34.5 CM)

FUR MOD ERNE KUNST, PHOTOGRAPH

(STREIT)

PHOTOMONTAGE

(Dada Panorama) AND WATERCOLOR

COLLECTION

BERLIN

Top left down: Dada Panorama, 1919 — photomontage with gouache and watercolor on cardboard Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany, 1919 –1920 — photomontage Dada-Ernst, 1920 –1921— photomontage

28

HANNAH HOCH

32

HANNAH HOCH

Bourgeois Wedding Couple [Quarrel], 1919 — photomontage

I

SCHNITT MIT DEM KUCHENMESSER DADA DURCH DIE LETZTE WEIMARER BIERBAUCHKULTUREPOCHE DEUTSCHLANDS (Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany) i 9 1 9-1920

6

PHOTOMONTAGE 44 Vs X 35 7 IN. (114 X 90 CM) COLLECTION

STAATLICHE

MUSEEN ZU BERLIN— PREU6ISCHER

KULTURBESITZ,

DA DANDY

NATION ALGALERIE

Da Dandy, 1919 — photomontage

1919

PHOTOMONTAGE

This large and complex photomontageunites representativesof the former Empire,the military,and the new, moderate governmentof the Republicin the "anti-Dada" corner at the upper right, while grouping Communistsand other radicals together with the Dadaistsat the lower right. Thesemostly malefiguresare pairedwith photographicfragmentsof active, energeticwomen—dancers,athletes,actresses,and artists—who animatethe work both formallyand conceptually.The newspaperfragment at the lower right identifiesthe Europeancountries in which women could or would soon be able to vote, includingGermany,which grantedwomen suffragein its 1919 constitution.By placingthe clipping in the corner she normallyreservedfor her signatureand includinga small self-portraithead at the upper-left edge of the map, Hoch iden tified herselfwith the political empowermentof women, who, she envisioned,would soon "cut" through the male "beerbelly" culture of earlyWeimarGermany.A full treatmentof this work, includingextensivedocumentationof Hoch's source images (most of which came from issues of BIZ), can be found in Gertrud Jula Dech's Schnitt mit dem Kuchenmesser Dada durch die letzte weimarerBierbauchkulturepocheDeutschlands: Untersuchungenzur Fotomontagebei Hannah Hoch (Munster: LitVerlag, 1981).— MM

11 ' Vi6 X 9 '/is IN. (30 X 23 CM) PRIVATE COLLECTION

Duringthe earlyWeimarera Hoch often made silhouetteportraits, cut from black or white paper, of friends such as Nelly van Doesburg, Hans Arp, Salomo Friedlaender,and others. Here, the silhouette of a man, accentuated by a bit of red backing paper Hoch left exposedaroundthe outline of his head, subsumesfragmentedimagesof fashionable,seductive "New Women." By titling the work Da Dandy, Hoch identifiedthis malefigure as both a Dadaistand a dandy, thus refer encing the fascinationof the Dadaists(in particular,GeorgeGrosz and RaoulHausmann)with fashion. MM

3 ST A A TSHAUPTER

( Heads

of State)

1918-1920

PHOTOMONTAGE 6 Vs X 9 Vi6 IN. (16.2 X 23.3 CM) COLLECTION

INSTITUT FUR AUSLANDSBEZIEHUNGEN,

STUTTGART

For this work, Floch used a well-known photograph of German Reich President Friedrich Ebert and DefenseMinister

GustavNoske,taken at a BalticSearesortjust two weeksafter the Weimarconstitutionhad beensignedinto law. Floch— Jlluftrirte3eitung at the time a Communistsympathizer—parodiedthese SocialDemocratic"headsof state" by collagingtheir paunchyfig

ures atop an iron-on embroiderypattern, associatingthem not with the traditionallymalerealmof state formationbut with the female domain of leisured relaxation. Floch used the same source image of Ebert and Noske in the related Dada Panorama(pi.2). — MM BIZ 28, no.34 (24 August 1919), cover

7 DADA-ERNST

1920-1921

PHOTOMONTAGE

.

75

X 6 9/16IN. (18.6 X 16.6 CM)

COLLECTION

ARTURO

SCHWARZ,

MILAN

This title can be read literally, as "Dada-Serious,"or as a possible punning referenceto Max Ernst, the Cologne-based Dadaistwho, like Hoch, also worked extensivelyin collage and photomontage.— MM

12

Heads of State, 1918 –1920 —photomontage


33

THE DADA YEARS

uttftittttig* $er6re<$erfitifcr

8 DAD A-TANZ (Dada Ball) PHOTOMONTAGE

POESIE

1922

ARTURO

SCHWARZ,

(Poem )

Top left down:

1922

COLLAGE WITH INK 10 '/ 16 X 7 »/i6 IN. (25.5 X 19.5 CM)

WITH COLLAGE

12 5 X 9 '/ 16 IN. (32 X 23 CM) COLLECTION

PRIVATE

MILAN

COLLECTION

Dada Ball, 1922 — photomontage with collage The Beautiful Girl, 1919 –1920 — photomontage

HANNAH HOCH

Monument I, From an Ethnographic Museum, 1924 — photomontage with watercolor on paper

100

Poem, 1922 — collage with ink HANNAH HOCH MADCHfi-N

DAS SCHONE

HANNAet-

MADCHEN

(The Beautiful

Girl )

f-tocn

36

From Above, 1926 –1927 — photomontage with collage

9n

1 9 1 9- 1 920

PHOTOMONTAGE

Untitled, 1921 — photomontage

13 3/4X11 7 IN. (35 X 29 CM) PRIVATE

COLLECTION

Hoch not only removedor obliteratedthe faces of the women in this photomontagebut surroundedthem with such signs of mechanizationas a crank shaft, an I-beam,and an automobiletire. The colorful BMWinsigniamay havebeen provided by Hoch's brother-in-law,an engineerat Knorr-Bremse,whose chief stockholderhad purchasedBMWafter World War I. The only mediasource discoveredto date for this work is a reproductionof the black Americanboxer Jack Johnson in a fight with Jim Jeffries, illustrated in one of the many articles on boxing that appeared in the popular press of the early Weimarera. So similar are the size, composition, and /.X theme of this photomontageto High Finance (pi.10) that the two works may havebeen conceivedas counterparts.— MM

VON OBEN

(From

PHOTOMONTAGE 12 ! COLLECTION

Above)

1926-1927

WITH COLLAGE

8 5/sIN. (31.4 X 21.9 CM)

LOUISE ROSENFIELD

NOUN, DES MOINES, IOWA

BIZ 29, no.35 (29 August 1920), p. 399

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117

THE INTERWAR PERIOD

119

THE INTERWAR PERIOD

63 FLUCHT (Flight)

1931

PHOTOMONTAGE 9 V\6X 7 'A IN. (23 X 18.4 CM) COLLECTION

INSTITUT FUR AUSLANDSBEZIEHUNGEN,

STUTTGART

The date of this work is questionable.Although it is clearlysigned with Hoch's initialsand dated "31" at the bottom right, just below the lower-left edge of the imagethere are traces of another date ("29") that has been crossed out. The only source photographthat has been discoveredis of little help here, for it appearedsome yearsearlier.(Theantiquateddiv ing suit evidentlyfascinatedHoch, for she usedthe lower half of it in Flightand includeda rearview, publishedin the same issue of Die Koralle,in her scrapbook.)The style of the work is not especiallyrevealing,either, since it is similarto that of other works from the late 1920s and early 1930s. But the resemblancehere of the wing-headed pursuerto Adolf Hitler and of the upraisedbird's wing to the Nazisalutesuggeststhat this photomontagewas perhapsmadeafter the 1930elec tions, when the National Socialist Party made astonishing gains at the local, state, and national levels.As an erstwhile Communistsympathizerinvolvedin a lesbianrelationshipin 1931, Hoch maywell havebeen motivatedby the new promi nenceof the Nazisto comment on Hitler's politics of exclusion.— MM

Top left down: Flight, 1931 — photomontage

Die Koralle 1, no.1 (May 1925), p. 25

The Small P, 1931 — photomontage Dada Dolls, 1916 — mixed-media puppets; Höch performing with one of her dolls, below.

65 DER KLEIN EP (The Small P)

1931

PHOTOMONTAGE 17 n COLLECTION

X 12 y IN. (45 X 32 CM) STA ATSG ALERIE

STUTTGART

A composite imageof an adult male and a bawling baby, this photomontage has been known for years as TheSmall P, basedon the inscriptionat the lower right of the image.Yet, as Hoch noted somewhatenigmaticallyon the back of a pho tograph of the work, now in the HannahHoch Archiveat the BerlinischeGalerie,this nonsensicaltitle was not the original one. "Der kleinePg" had been inscribedearlier,just belowthe "H.H." that is now at the lowerleft, on a pieceof paper Hoch subsequentlyremoved.When the collage is held in a raking light, this unmistakablereferenceto a "Parteigenosse,"or memberof the NationalSocialistParty,is still evidentin the form of indentationsin the backing page that were created by the pressurefrom the artist's pen or pencil.The exact position of the now-missingscrap of paper is also evidentfrom the discolorationof the areasover which it was originallyglued. Fearfulof retributionfor her unflatteringportrait of a Nazias an infantilemalcontent,Hoch probably retitled the photomontagesometimeduring the Third Reich.— MM As reproducedin Hoch's scrapbook, c. 1933, p. 109

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>iingcrch6r


bibliography

lltftranHcnlofc

Ades, Dawn. Photomontage.

Pantheon Books, 1976.

Baldwin, Thomas. “Depictions

of and Challenges to the New Woman in Hannah Höch's Photomontage.” TCBP, Things Created by People, 20 Apr. 2015, www.thingscreatedbypeople.com/zine/ depictions-of-and-challenges-to-the-newwoman-in-hannah-hochs-photomontage.

Boswell, Peter, et al. The

Photomontages of Hannah Höch. Walker Art Center, 1996.

“Cut with the Kitchen

Knife.” Utopia/Dystopia, 2 Jan. 2013, utopiadystopiawwi.wordpress.com/dada/ hannah-hoch/cut-with-the-kitchen-knife/.

Hannah Höch, “On Collage,”

in Hannah Höch, ed. Dawn Ades, Daniel F. Herrmann (London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2014).

Lavin, Maud, and Höch

Hannah. Cut with the Kitchen Knife: the Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Höch. Yale University Press, 1993.

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Designed and written by Ana Maria Garcia. GD102 Design Basics: Typography and Image, BFA Spring 2019, Margo Halverson. Composed in Rockwell and Baskerville. Printed from a printer.

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Copyright Š 2019 Ana Maria Garcia; Portland, Maine, Maine College of Art.

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A Montage of Hannah Höch by Ana Garcia  

A Montage of Hannah Höch by Ana Garcia  

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