• The Tempest and the Savages: Franz Marc, Hugo Ball, and a Decisive Moment in Dada-Expressionist Theater With a Special Appearance by August Macke

    Author(s):
    Jean Marie Carey (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Der Blaue Reiter
    Subject(s):
    Art history, Expressionism, Dada, Shakespeare, Painting
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    franz marc, August Macke, Hugo Ball, The Tempest, Masks
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6DP0R
    Abstract:
    This article discusses Franz Marc’s 1914 essay “Das abstrakte Theater”1 (Fig. 01), and the events surrounding an “Expressionist” production of Shakespeare’s Der Sturm planned by Marc and Hugo Ball the same year. Marc’s position in this detour from painting and writing can be understood in terms of his embrace of “die ‘Wilden’” – “the ‘Savages’” – an idea Marc introduces in 1912’s Blaue Reiter Almanac – as a metaphorical aspiration and as a state of being for both artists and the public as patrons of the arts and citizens of modernity. I also bring recognition to August Macke’s background in theatrical theory and design in terms of how this influenced Marc, particularly in analysis of the artists’ collaboration on Macke’s contribution to the Blaue Reiter Almanac, the essay “Die Masken,” and how this relates to the Der Sturm project.2 I propose a way of understanding how Marc’s beliefs in the paradoxically beneficial power of destruction dovetailed with Ball’s theology. In the context of this background information I give close reading of paintings Marc made of the Caliban and Miranda characters from Der Sturm. I also correct inaccuracies in the record regarding the chronologies of this encounter between these protagonists of Dada and Expressionism, and in our understanding of Marc’s text itself. Viewing this data in a holistic manner allows new interpretations of influences and collaborations amid the historical avant-garde.
    Notes:
    This is a special issue devoted exclusively to visual art.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    11 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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