“Broken Brushes: German Expressionist Prints
by Hitler's Degenerate Artists.”
+ Spencer Fidler.
at Flatbed Press
by Todd Camplin

previous featured
Flatbed Press has some history on the wall with their show titled “Broken Brushes: German
Expressionist Prints by Hitler's Degenerate Artists.” And you only have a week left to see
the work, because it closes April 5th. The Nazis suppressed, destroyed, and confiscated art
from the Modernist and art collectors of Europe. In 1939, thousands of artworks were burned,
artists themselves burned their works to avoid concentration camps, and no telling how
many pieces were destroyed during the bombing campaigns. So, I was excited to see
art that survived the Nazi purges and subsequent war.
Christian Rohlfs "SMall Man Head II" 1920 Etching
I can see why a Hitler was so fearful of these works. The raw emotion and energy was incredibly
powerful. Many of the Expressionist had been afflicted by their experiences in World War I. A
kind of madness of war and inhumanity seeps through many of the prints. I re-watched a film
about the Degenerate Art exhibition on Youtube. Although patrons came to “laugh” at the art,
the people in the film still kept their distance and give the works proper respect by not touching
the art. It would seem that the Expressionist learned from horrific conflict that the world had gone
mad. They were only reflecting this anxiety. For Hitlers lies to work, he had to smear the cultural
that didn’t support his militarism. In his view, German culture had to be drained of deep
emotion and introspection. Degenerate Art was blocking his goals. Youtube (
youtube.com/watch?v=XQGTadD_5dU (Preview) )  has an interesting 15 minute clip by artist
and collector of German Expressionist, Gus Kopriva at the Flatbed Press. It was fun to hear his
excitement and passion about these artists.

Spencer Fidler - Fidler Falling Kitaj
Flatbed Press also features work by contemporary artist Spencer Fidler. Fidler has some massive
prints up. The cracked landscapes on earthy yellow paper feel like a view of a landscape from
another world. All but the crack is visible. The paper becomes an object framing the printed
mark. Fidler has used scale and minimal space to empiricize but not overpower the print.
Spencer Fidler will be up through May 24th.
Ernest Ludwig Kirchner "Mannerkopf I" 1918 Woodcut


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Alfred Kubin "Uberschwemmung (flood) 1927 Lithograph
Spencer Fidler -Still Life