Compliant Art

Art and Politics in the National Socialist era

The art of the avant-garde, the “degenerate art,” combated by the National Socialists has been widely researched and exhibited to the public in recent decades. The conformist, “good” art aligned with National Socialist ideology, in contrast, silently disappeared into warehouses after 1945. Art was supposed to stabilize the system, hearten in difficult times, and communicate values such as a fighting spirit, family, and tradition. The publication knowledgeably shows that the artworks did truly completely lack any critical potential or humanist aspirations. It also documents the inner conflict of the time and juxtaposes works that conformed to the regime with those by critical, persecuted artists. The important question of what happened to the “good” artists after the end of the war is also addressed.


Josef Albers, Willi Baumeister, Max Beckmann, Claus Bergen, Arno Breker, Lovis Corinth, Walter Dexel, Elk Eber, Adolf Erbslöh, Conrad Felixmüller, George Grosz, Erwin Hahs, Sepp Happ, Erich Heckel, Richard Heymann, Otto Albert Hirth, Karl Hofer, Albert Janesch, Alexej Jawlensky, Paul Junghanns, Arthur Kampf, Michael Mathias Kiefer, Paul Klee, Georg Lebrecht, Erich Mercker, László Moholy-Nagy, Marg Moll, Karel Niestrath, Felix Nussbaum, Albert Otto, Rudolf Otto, Paul Mathias Padua, Carl-Theodor Protzen, Franz Radziwill, Leni Riefenstahl, Ivo Saliger, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Hans Schmitz-Widenbrück, Leopold Schmutzler, Max Schulze-Sölde, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Schwarz, Karl Schwesig, Max Slevogt, Horst Strempel, Bernd Templin, Arnold Topp, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, Marianne von Werefkin, Else Wex-Cleemann, Ossip Zadkine

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Compliant Art

November 2016

ISBN 978-3-7356-0288-6

23 × 28 cm

240 pages

95 colored and 17 b/w illustrations

Gatefold Brochure, bound

Languages: German, English

Silke von Berswordt-Wallrabe, Jörg-Uwe Neumann, Agnes Tieze

Text by
Norbert Lammert (Greeting), Karen van den Berg, Silke von Berswordt-Wallrabe, Nikola Doll, Christian Fuhrmeister, Max Imdahl, Stephanie Marchal, Annika Wienert

Design by
Saskia Helena Kruse

Exhibition: “Artige Kunst”, 5 November 2016 –  9 April 2017, Museum unter Tage, Situation Kunst, Bochum, Germany