Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012
Grete Marks: When Modern Was Degenerate
The first American exhibition to explore Grete Marks’s story, Grete Marks: When Modern Was Degenerate presents a narrative of the artist Margarete Heymann-Löbenstein-Marks through 40 of her ceramics. The oeuvre, created within Grete’s Haël Werkstätten factory, testifies to her indelible artistry as well as to the tragic tale of an artist crushed by politics. In 1934, an agent for the German Nazi government purchased the factory for far below its estimated value, and in 1935 Grete’s artwork was publically disparaged as part of Joseph Goebbels’ “degenerate” art campaign. Grete’s later ceramics made in England arguably lack the stunning artistic vision of her earlier work and suggest the far-reaching effects of World War II destroyed the promise of the young German artist.