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Artists Hannah Höch
Hannah Höch Photo

Hannah Höch

German Photomontage Artist

Movement: Dada

Born: November 1, 1889 - Gotha, Germany

Died: May 31, 1978 - Berlin, Germany

Hannah Höch Timeline

Quotes

"I wish to blur the firm boundaries which we self-certain people tend to delineate around all we can achieve."
Hannah Höch
"They continued for a long time to look on us women artists as charming and gifted amateurs, denying us any real professional status."
Hannah Höch
"The peculiar characteristics of photography and its approaches have opened up a new and immensely fantastic field for a creative human being: a new, magical territory for the discovery of which freedom is the first prerequisite. But not lack of discipline, however."
Hannah Höch
"Embroidery is very closely related to painting. It is constantly changing, with every new style each epoch brings. It is an art and ought to be treated like one, even if thousands upon thousands of sweet female hands - displaying scant skill, no taste or color sense, and not a hint of inspiration - mishandle quantities of good materials as foolishly as possible and call the results 'embroidery.'"
Hannah Höch
"[I desire] to show the world today as an ant sees it and tomorrow as the moon sees it."
Hannah Höch
"[She] rejected adult-world conformity in favor of youthful nonsense (which) offered a means of circumventing the strict and serious rules that govern thought, language, and meaning."
Nicole Rudick on Hannah Höch

"I have always tried to exploit the photograph. I use it like color, or as the poet uses the word."

Hannah Höch Signature

Synopsis

Höch was not only a rare female practicing prominently in the arts in the early part of the 20th century - near unique as a female active in the Dada movement that coalesced in her time - she also consciously promoted the idea of women working creatively more generally in society. She explicitly addressed in her pioneering artwork in the form of photomontage the issue of gender and the figure of woman in modern society. Her transformation of the visual elements of others by integrating them into her own larger creative projects evidenced a well-developed early example of "appropriation" as an artistic technique.

Key Ideas

Höch was a key progenitor of the self-conscious practice of collaging diverse photographic elements from different sources to make art. This strategy of combining formerly unrelated images to make sometimes startling, sometimes insightful connections was one that came to be adopted by many Dada and Surrealist artists of her era, and also by later generations of "post-modern" conceptual artists in other media, including sculptural installations, mixed media and moving images, as well as in still photography.
Höch also helped expand the notion of what could be considered art by incorporating found elements of popular culture into "higher" art. She was one of many Dadaists to take advantage of such means, but she was both among the first, and one of the most self-consciously explicit in describing the goals and effects of doing so.
A political iconoclast, she actively critiqued prevailing society in her work, and, implicitly, through many of her life choices. Her active interest in challenging the status of women in the social world of her times motivated a long series of works that promoted the idea of the "New Woman" in the era.

Biography

Hannah Höch Photo

Childhood and Education

Hannah Höch was born as Anna Therese Johanne Höch into an upper-middle-class family in southeast Germany. Her father Friedrich was the supervisor of an insurance company, while her mother Rosa was an amateur painter. She later claimed that her father believed that "a girl should get married and forget about studying art." She was the eldest of five children. Her education began at the local girls' high school, but it ended early when she was 15, as her parents needed her to stay at home and look after her youngest sister.

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Hannah Höch Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Hannah Höch
Interactive chart with Hannah Höch's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Theo van DoesburgTheo van Doesburg
El LissitzkyEl Lissitzky
László Moholy-NagyLászló Moholy-Nagy
Max ErnstMax Ernst
Piet MondrianPiet Mondrian

Personal Contacts

Johannes BaaderJohannes Baader
George GroszGeorge Grosz
Raoul HausmannRaoul Hausmann
John HeartfieldJohn Heartfield
Kurt SchwittersKurt Schwitters

Movements

DadaDada
De StijlDe Stijl

Influences on Artist
Hannah Höch
Hannah Höch
Years Worked: 1910s-1970s
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Cindy ShermanCindy Sherman
Claude CahunClaude Cahun
Martha RoslerMartha Rosler
Hannah WilkeHannah Wilke

Personal Contacts

Johannes BaaderJohannes Baader
George GroszGeorge Grosz
Raoul HausmannRaoul Hausmann
John HeartfieldJohn Heartfield
Kurt SchwittersKurt Schwitters

Movements

DadaDada
SurrealismSurrealism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Anna Souter

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Anna Souter
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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