THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview Dr Dorothy Price on one of the most acclaimed artists ever to live, the great German Expressionist, KATHE KOLLWITZ!
Dorothy Price is an indefatigable pioneer. Not only has she been instrumental as a specialist in German Expressionism, Weimar Culture and Black British Art, with a specific focus on women artists, but she has authored numerous books and articles in both areas.
But today we are meeting because her latest exhibition, Making Modernism, opens at the Royal Academy of Arts, London this month, focussing on a group of women artists all of whom were active in Germany in the first few decades of the twentieth century.
The exhibition seeks to look again at histories of modernism through the eyes of its female practitioners and is the first group exhibition of women artists at the Royal Academy for over 20 years: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/making-modernism
So today we are going to be discussing one of these artists: Kathe Kollwitz, the pioneering German Expressionist who documented, through a socially conscious lens, the working classes and unemployed, and was a master at capturing the emotive intensity of her subjects, their vulnerabilities and hardship.
Primarily a printmaker, Kollwitz took psychological intensity to new heights with her often stark portrayals of the grief-stricken and oppressed. Depicting mothers and children wrenched apart by death; individuals filled with anguish and in mourning; poverty, love, hatred and war ‒ Kollwitz’s compassionate images reveal the grim rawness of reality observed through a deeply sensitive lens. Socially conscious and created with acute feeling (she once wrote, ‘I agree with my art serving a purpose’), her work still speaks truth to the world we live in today.
Born in Eastern Prussia, Kollwitz, having witnessed the physical and emotional effects of industrialisation, used printmaking to record the bleakness and inequalities of life. Immediate, accessible and at times cheap, printmaking enables an artist to produce both intricately detailed images and bold graphic forms.
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Research assistant: Viva Ruggi
Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield
Making Modernism:Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin at the RA: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/making-modernism
Print cycle: A Weaver's Revolt (1892-97):
Head of a Child in its Mother's Hands (Study of the Down Trodden) (1900):
Print cycle: War (completed 1921-1922)
THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com