Jeanne Mammen is one of the most impressive, unusual and versatile German female artists of the twentieth century. She is frequently mentioned in connection with Käthe Kollwitz and Hanna Höch, two artists who also showed a strong engagement in social emancipation, and whose most successful years also date to the Weimar era. When comparing Jeanne Mammen to other socially critical male artists of the time, like Otto Dix and George Grosz, a certain resemblance in the selected motifs can be noticed, but there is quite a difference in their vision and style of portrayal. In contrast to Dix and Grosz, Jeanne Mammen’s pictorial statement regarding injustice and the ensuing deplorable social conditions is neither marked by harsh denouncement, nor does it convey pity, and her portrayal of the Bourgeois is without biting malice and condescension. She is the only artist of her time, who, by using her intuitive power and her penetrating eyes, succeeded in delivering precise and cunning portrayals capturing the characteristic physiognomic features, typical of people of all walks of life in the 1930s. She herself once said: “I have always wanted to be just a pair of eyes, walking through the world unseen, only to be able to see others. Unfortunately one was seen …”.
Thanks to bits&bites for finding this artist!