, 17 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Sadly many people today, often in without realizing it, endorse a key tenet of Hitler's social project: the theory of "degenerate art".
Nazism despised modern art's avant-garde tendencies, and smeared it as incomprehensible - a Jewish conspiracy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerat…
Experimental, often absurdist work arrived in the modern art period to protest Romantic kitsch and the horrors of World War I.
Culturally, Nazism was trapped in the worst excesses of 1800s kitsch. Hitler idolized Wagner. Nazis continued those awful Romantic statues.
The 1800s "greatness of man" genre was the Nazi aesthetic. Modern art, like Otto Dix's "War Cripples" (1920), undermined that entire spirit.
Dix was one of the early artists named "degenerate" by the Nazis. "War Cripples" is black and white above because it was burned.
Yet long after Nazism's demise and the death of its pathetic art theory, we've come full circle. Modern art is getting this criticism again.
You might have seen PragerU's video "Why is Modern Art so Bad?" on YouTube, for example:
The story posited in this video is Nazi in origin. The myth of "masters building on masters" - the appeal to Romantic ideals of technique.
It doesn't tell you that modern artists were taking from classical art traditions themselves - just not the parts that the Nazis liked.
All of these paintings are pre-1700. The absurd, surreal and deformed had a major place in art. The Romantics and Nazis just hated them.
Modern abstract art and architecture were presaged by things like the Book of Kells, Islamic geometric art, Persian miniatures:
Even the Romantic tradition wasn't all the Nazis wanted it to be. J. M. W. Turner (1800s) was a grand master of abstract art:
And yet here's BuzzFeedBlue mocking abstract art, even by the great Henri Matisse, for being childish and worthless:
Distrust people who put forward this narrative.
This is a YouTube search for "modern art". The top five results all in some way - consciously or not - rely on the theory of degenerate art.
That's it for now. Basically, keep your eyes open. There's a creeping reactionism in today's opinions about art and culture. It's dangerous.
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