Above image: Otto Dix, Sturmtruppe geht unter Gas vor (Stormtroops advancing under a gas attack), 1924 [Courtesy of: lewebpedagogique.com] I recently visited an exhibition of German artist Otto Dix's series of prints entitled Der Krieg (The War) at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, East Sussex. I studied this series for my undergraduate dissertation … Continue reading Otto Dix: The ‘Madness’ of Modern Warfare
Above image: Henry Darger Happy New Year everyone - I hope you are all enjoying what 2014 has had to offer so far. I thought I would do a bit of an off the cuff 'rambling' blog post talking about a couple of ideas I have recently had relating to the term 'outsider art'. Hopefully … Continue reading Outsider Art.. or ‘Inside’ Art: January Thoughts
German Expressionism was born out of the influence of a variety of earlier movements, styles and subject matter, and of course, through the discontent of many avant-garde artists with recent modernisation and the alienation of urban living. Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903), a French Post-Impressionist, proved significantly influential on the works of German Expressionists. Gauguin … Continue reading Pre-World War I: Primitivism, Nostalgia and the Rise of German Expressionism
Germany, at the turn of the twentieth century saw major shifts from an agrarian economy to a modern industrial economy. Under Otto von Bismarck, who oversaw the unification of Germany in the late nineteenth century, the years 1870 until 1890 saw a huge period of transformation and an increase in Bourgeois power; these years were … Continue reading Social and Political Theories of Alienation and the Appearance of ‘Madness’
I am going to begin a series that looks at the links and similarities between German Expressionism and Outsider Art particularly between the years of 1905 and 1945. This will include contextual factors, pre-world war one, the Weimar period and then finally, the Degenerate Art exhibition organised by the National Socialist Party in Germany. Here … Continue reading Introduction to the Links and Similarities Between German Expressionism and Outsider Art
David Maclagan, in his text The Art of Madness, discusses the myths surrounding madness and art. He claims that there are assumptions that many people make about artists in general, with the common idea that all those who create art tend to have some kind of psychotic tendency. The first idea that many hold regarding … Continue reading Can the work of Richard Dadd be seen to stand outside of the popular fantasies about art and madness?
There is, without a doubt, a strong relationship between sublimation and perversion, as Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel investigates in her book Creativity and Perversion (1984). ) However, sublimation is more strongly linked with intellectual curiosity and creativity, where energy is directed into more cultural activities. Perversion, on the other hand, is associated with aestheticism and idealisation. There … Continue reading Chasseguet-Smirgel and the Relationship between Sublimation and Perversion in the Context of Artistic Creativity
Although not strictly Outsider Art - I thought I would write a little bit about Gericault's series of Monomaniac portraits, as they provide some insight into the changing ways mental health problems were viewed in the nineteenth century. Gericault's Monomaniac series once consisted of ten portraits of the mentally ill, however, only five have survived into … Continue reading Gericault’s Monomaniac Portraits