Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Hinrichtung (Summary Execution)
  • Georg Scholz
    born: Wolfenbüttel, Germany ; died: Waldkirch, French-occupied Germany (present-day Germany) ; active: Germany
  • Hinrichtung (Summary Execution), 1921
  • Where object was made: Germany
  • lithograph
  • Paper Type: laid
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 217 x 330 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 8 1/2 x 13 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 325 x 489 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 in
    Mat Dimensions: 20 x 25 in
  • Museum purchase: Letha Churchill Walker Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0114
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Machine in a Void: World War I & the Graphic Arts," Mar-2010, Steve Goddard
Georg Scholz became deeply politicized, joining the German Communist party and the Novembergruppe (November Group, referencing the 1918 November Revolution in Germany), and participating in the first international DADA Fair in Berlin in 1920. Scholz was also a leading figure of the 1920s artistic movement in Germany known as Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). New Objectivity evolved in Germany in direct opposition to the urgent emotionalism of Expressionism. This precisely rendered, caricatural, and gruesome image is from this early, stridently political period of Scholz’s career. It shows a scene in which a smug and wealthy capitalist appears as the master of ceremonies at a covert execution to which the church is also party, bringing to mind the torture and execution of the Spartakist/communist activists Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht, who were abducted and murdered in January 1919.

See also in this exhibition Scholz's woodcut Gestalt Mit Tod (Figure with Death), done only a few years earlier, in 1919, in a very different and more expressionist style.