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THE REAL THING: “NEW OBJECTIVITY: MODERN GERMAN ART IN THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC 1919–1933”

George Grosz, Der Regisseur (The Boss), 1922, photolithograph on paper, 22 3/4 × 16 3/4". © Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

FOR A LONG TIME, Neue Sachlichkeit, the dominant tendency in German art of the 1920s, was seen as a return to order in general and as a reaction against Expressionism and Dada in particular, despite the fact that some neusachlich artists—Max Beckmann, for example—were involved in Expressionism and others, such as George Grosz, Otto Dix, and Christian Schad, were central to Dada. Neue Sachlichkeit was framed in this way by its earliest proponents, Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, who staged the first show on the subject, “Neue Sachlichkeit: Deutsche Malerei seit dem Expressionismus” (New Objectivity: German Painting Since Expressionism), at the Kunsthalle Mannheim in 1925, and Franz Roh, who published the first study, Nach-Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus; Probleme der neuesten europäischen Malerei (Post-Expressionism: Magic Realism; Problems of the Newest European Painting),

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