• “Grotesque!”

    Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

    The average person might not immediately associate the Germanic sensibility with a propensity to laugh, but that was precisely Charles Baudelaire’s argument in the 1850s when he singled out Germany as a nation where “all is weighty, profound and excessive” and which was therefore particularly suited to the grotesque, a genre that, he said admiringly, inspires “immediate laughter.” Featuring work by a wide variety of modern and contemporary German-speaking artists, from Arnold Böcklin to John Bock, “Grotesque! 130 Years of Witty Art” put the poet’s theory to the test. Clearly, the mode of grotesque

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