Hannah Hoch  new take on an old favourite

Hannah Hoch's work is instantly recognisable from her hotchpotch of surreal cut outs and photo montages. Part of the Berlin Dadaist movement in the 1920’s, yet she was barely 

acknowledged by the art world back then. Hoch's unconventional approach and appropriation of images was groundbreaking, the original punk of pictures. There is no doubt her work has relevance today, influencing current artists such as Stezaker, Dziaczkowski and Farmer

 

She cut and spliced images from popular magazines, fashion imagery, natural history books and illustrated journals. Mixing gender, race and cultures, Hoch formed new and 

exotic tribes of strange beings, collaging together body parts of dancers, naked starlets and close ups of animals. Her disorientating style leading you into a dream-like universe; where you might find the head of a monkey, the legs of a gymnast, a mouth and an eye from two different faces and you have an idea of what Hoch could conjure up. Amusing and surprising, her visual language was loaded with political satire. Hybrid anthropomorphic creatures, collided and floundered with recurring themes such as African masks, animals, body parts, wings and fragments of architectural structures.

 

Looking at Hoch's later works from the 1940's onwards, the colours she uses become a little more vivid and brave. Images increasingly shift towards abstraction, creating more ambiguous imagery and less of her usual photo realistic cut outs of the human figure. Strange sculptural objects, props and imaginary landscapes of quasi glaciers occupy these scenes and become more alive and beguiling with hovering planets or cross sections of yellow trees from some kind of futuristic universe.