These days, it is easy to forget that the first world war changed everything. But the simple fact is that you cannot understand the 20th century without departing from this point. The war strangled 19th century European complacency.
One of the startling effects of the war was an explosion of new forms of artistic expressionoin. According to Robert Hughes, modern art was born out of the intense anger about the war. No more so than in Weimar Germany.
The paintings of Otto Dix bring us into that frenzied era.
Yes, Liza Minelli in Cabaret was rather tame compared to the world that Dix brings us. This image speaks volumes about where this craziness comes from
August Sander’s photographs also bring us into the Weimar scene. But there is a strange detachment.
And Sander shows us people who had little to do with the sophisticates that Dix presents
Those other folks — who were the majority of Germans — would be the group that delivered Germany to the Nazis in a doomed hope of regaining the confidence of the pre-war era.
Go for it!