Robert Gernhardt, “Mother”, “Anne”
The “Caricatura” Museum in Frankfurt is hosting the works of the contemporary German Comic-artists. At the heart of the new comic collection is the work of the artists of the “New Frankfurt School”, a loose club of illustrators, poets and painters who formed in the early 70s and borrowed their name from the group of neo-Marxist philosophers that included Theodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas, the original Frankfurt School. The reference to the fathers of critical theory is a joke in itself, of course, because although all the members of the New Frankfurt School were – like everyone else at the time — highly politicised, they never intended to stage a revolution. Their humour was more subtle, sometimes even sad, but always a life-affirming and earthy affair, and in that respect much closer to one of Frankfurt’s other great sons, Goethe.
One of the main figures of the “New Frankfurt School”, F.K. Waechter, is humorously called “Friedrich the Great”, referring to the Prussian King. In fact Waechter (3. November 1937 in Danzig; † 16. September 2005 in Frankfurt am Main) was the most poetic, antiauthoritarian and sensitive artist among the founders of these Cartoonist school.
Today the Caricatura Gallery in Kassel is the centre for comic artists to exhibit, attend to Festivals, workshops and other events. Every five years an exhibition parallel to the Art-show documenta is inviting Comic artists publishing in German for a group show.
Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Busch (15 April 1832 – 9 January 1908) was a German humorist, poet, illustrator and painter. He published comic illustrated tales from 1859, achieving his most notable works in the 1870s. He’s considered a classic, the German museum for Drawing Art and Cartoons in Hannover is called the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum.
Busch drew on contemporary parochial and city life, satirizing Catholicism, strict religious morality and bigotry. One of the best examples is “Religious Helen”. His comic text was colourful and entertaining and led to some work being banned by the authorities.
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