Neue Sachlichkeit

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The “New Objectivity" movement—as it is typically translated—emerged in 1920s Weimar Germany as an umbrella term for a new modern, urban sensibility. Though most closely associated with the biting cultural satires of painters like Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, and George Grosz, the movement’s stark realism also found expression in the photographs of August Sander and Albert-Renger Patzsch. Abandoning aestheticizing techniques, these artists presented a sober portrait of contemporary society. While critics derided its distanced, sterile vision of daily life, advocates like Thomas Mann prided its ability to bring to light marginal places, objects, and members of society.

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