John Heartfield Krieg und Leichen – Die letzte Hoffnung der Reichen [War and corpses – The last hope of the rich], 1932 © The Heartfield Community of Heirs / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020. Akademie der Künste, Berlin

John Heartfield – Photography plus Dynamite


John Heartfield (1891–1968) was one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century. His political photomontages became icons in the fight against National Socialism. To this day, they are of European significance and have lost none of their explosive power. The exhibition "John Heartfield – Photography plus Dynamite" shows the many facets of his art, from montage and book design to set design, photography and animated film. The exhibits bear witness to his sophisticated concept of using the media of advertising to enlighten viewers and to burst the context of art wide open.

The basis of the retrospective is the reworking and digitalisation of his estate, which is found at the Akademie der Künste. Works and documents, some of which are being shown for the first time, illustrate his complex field of reference. During his life, which was marked by persecution and exile, Heartfield had close connections to important contemporaries such as Grosz, Brecht and Piscator. Previously unknown sources of inspiration, such as specific works from his graphic and East Asian collections, expand the exhibition. In the extensive programme of events, Heartfield’s significance both past and present is addressed in films, performances, lectures, readings and workshops.

An exhibition of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin – supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes). The programme of special events accompanying the exhibition is supported by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb).

21 Mar — 21 Jun

Tue – Sun 11 am – 7 pm

€ 10/5. Free admission for under 19s and Tuesdays from 3 pm

Guided tours, Wed 5 pm, Sun at noon. € 3 plus exhibition ticket

Due to the coronavirus, the exhibition has been postponed until June 2020.

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