ARTBOOK BLOG

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IMAGE GALLERY

Spreads from
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/30/2023

The Cold Gaze of trauma in Weimar art

Featured spreads are from The Cold Gaze: Germany in the 1920s, the fascinating new release from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. “The first world war and the defeat led to a culture in Germany characterized by a general shame and embarrassment about pre-war utopias,” Sophie Goetzmann writes. “The 1920s saw the emergence of what German literary historian Helmut Lethen calls the ‘cold persona,’ a new social type seeking to avoid the feeling of humiliation by adopting a mask of coldness and indifference. This new behavior deeply changed the practice of portraiture. Where before it focused on the models’ psychological expression, it now concentrated on their external markers. … The portraits appear cold, emptied of all feeling, in resonance with their often neutral and deserted backgrounds. The subjects appear alone, with a detached expression and an absent, even empty gaze. They seem to be trying to disguise their feelings behind an impenetrable appearance.”

The Cold Gaze: Germany in the 1920s

The Cold Gaze: Germany in the 1920s

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Hbk, 10.25 x 8.5 in. / 128 pgs / 70 color / 77 b&w.





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