Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Katherine Kollwitz

Katherine Kollwitz was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work demonstrates the human hardship in the first half of the 20th century. Her compassion for the less fortunate at this time was displayed the best through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography, and woodcut. She encompassed the sufferers of poverty, hunger, and war. Originally her work was directed towards Naturalism, but soon after shifted to Expressionistic qualities. Kollwitz apparently had a lot of mental issues dealing with the death of her brother where she had a lot of migraines and hallucinations since she was diagnosed with Alice and Wonderland Syndrome.

Works such as Hunger depicts black and white woodcuts of the tough reality of poverty and starvation. The exaggerated bags on the little girl’s eyes and her parents viewed in a few simple lines as they disappear into the dark convey the reality of hunger.Kollwitz shows the bond of mother and daughter with harsh lines and the way the mother rests on her child shows the dynamic comfort in each other. Kollwitz pieces are based on the revolutions of poor people such as worker strikes. Her main purpose was to fight against communism and socialism. Kollwitz's art shows us the anguish she obtains in portraying such hardship but still having hope for the change towards peace.

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