Title: Subversive Landscapes: The Symbolic Representation of Socialist Landscapes in the Visual Arts of the German Democratic Republic
Language: English
Authors: Sukrow, Oliver 
Category: Research Article
Keywords: German Democratic Republic; Landscape; Wolfgang Mattheuer; Romanticism; Visual Art
Issue Date: 2017
Journal: Rethinking Marxism
This essay on the visual representation of landscapes in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) suggests the historical and aesthetic significance of romantic traditions of the nineteenth century for the Socialist cultural practice of the GDR as well as for theoretical reflections on the importance of landscape and nature for the development of a Socialist society. With such a comparative approach, we can not only interpret philosophical work by Lothar Kühne as a Marxist reflection on romantic notions of the importance of landscape but we can also trace the stylistic influence of romantic artists like Caspar David Friedrich on the GDR’s Socialist landscape painting. More specifically, the essay shows how Wolfgang Mattheuer became the foremost GDR landscape painter by adapting, transforming, and reevaluating Friedrich’s art. Relying on the tradition of German romanticism, Mattheuer developed a new genre of Socialist landscape representation comprising both important artworks and tools of critique.
DOI: 10.1080/08935696.2017.1316108
Library ID: AC15562282
URN: urn:nbn:at:at-ubtuw:3-8362
ISSN: 1475-8059
Organisation: E251 - Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Bauforschung und Denkmalpflege 
Publication Type: Article
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