German Expressionist Posters at LACMA

For those in Southern California, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is currently showing 70 German Expressionist posters dating from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The exhibit, titled War, Revolution, Protest, presents a range of poster works extolling political action as well as promoting theaters, cabarets, and the newly-founded film industry. The exhibition comes from LACMA’s Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, which possesses one of the greatest German Expressionist collections in the world. Obviously this is a must see show for any fan of the bold and confrontational art from that period, but students of history and design will also get a lot out of this important exhibit. If you can attend you may also want to view the concurrently running, Rauschenberg: Posters, a collection of over 100 mass printed works from American artist, Robert Rauschenberg. The prints on display date from the 1960’s to the present, and some are surprisingly political in nature. His silk-screen, Signs, is a montage of iconographic images from the late 60’s. Images of the slain John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy; Martin Luther King Jr. resting in his coffin; anti-Vietnam war protestors; scenes of the riots that burned US cities; rock singer Janis Joplin (who would die of a drug overdose), all mixing to become a potent sign of the times. Upon its release, Rauschenberg said the work was “conceived to remind us of the love, terror, violence of the last ten years. Danger lies in forgetting.” While a great many seem to have indeed forgotten… War, Revolution, Protest and Rauschenberg: Posters gives us all an opportunity to remember. Now running, both exhibits close June 12, 2005. For more information: www.lacma.org

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