Exhibition, Archives, Programme

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.

Der Zauberer John Heartfield [The Magician John Heartfield], 1943

John Heartfield: Bürger Schippel [Citizen Schippel], 1955

John Heartfield: Tell me, Hermann, wasn't it our intention to conquer the golden cornfields of the Ukraine?,
Photomontage for Reynold’s News, 8 October 1939, Gelatin silver print, airbrush and brush retouching, laminated

In the extensive programme of events, Heartfield's significance both past and present is addressed in filmsperformanceslecturesreadings and workshops.

The basis of the retrospective is the reworking and digitalization of his estate, which is located in the Akademie der Künste. The publicly accessible online catalogue assembles John Heartfield's graphic oeuvre in an adequate form on the Internet, with over 4,000 works.
In addition, the online presentation “Kosmos Heartfield is a virtual exhibition that gives new impulses to the discussion of the political artist and complements the show at the Akademie der Künste on Pariser Platz.

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).