The new materiality
The new materiality (German Neue Sachlichkeit) is an art movement in German art of the 1920s – early 1930s, which represented the tradition of neoclassicism in the general context of the development of modernist art. The authorship of the term “New materiality” belongs to the director of the art gallery in Mannheim, G. Hartlaub, who called the direction of the “search for new materiality” an exhibition of works by young artists that took place at him in 1925. This trend, not formalized organizationally and sufficiently broad (due to the belonging of artists from different lands of Germany), existed until fascism came to power in 1933.
The participants in the New Materiality movement, striving to counter the alarming ecstasy of expressionism, proclaimed a “return to a positive and concrete reality.” The aesthetic concept of the direction was built on the assertion of the falsity of the real world, so the main goal is an adequate expression of the inadequacy of the world, a realistically recorded lack of reality, and the purpose of artistic creation is almost photographic accuracy of the image, not aiming to hide the ugliness of reality behind artistic decorativeness.
The artists of “New Materiality” called their method “magic realism”, since their art showed a special alienation from the depicted life, the specificity of its veristic description, shifting the emphasis from naturalism as such to its ultimate form – grotesque, within which emphasized realism and detail of the image was intended to generate the effect of unreality and implausibility of the depicted environment. From here came the search for participants in the field of artistic technology, localized in the field of resuscitation of the rigidity of the drawing, exaggerated plastic form, emphasized strict perspectives and static composition, which brought the New Materiality movement closer to Italian metaphysical painting.
Masters of the new materiality: Georg Gross, Otto Dicks, Max Beckmann, Alexander Canoldt, Georg Schrimpf, Eberhardt Wigener, Karl Grosberg, Heinrich Davringhausen.