Degenerate Art

Degenerate Art

Degenerate art is the term used by the Nazis to denounce and control art that did not conform to their ideology.

The Nazi party deemed all modern art as 'degenerate,' with a particular focus on Expressionism. In 1937, the government purged German museums of about 15,550 modern art pieces. These works were displayed mockingly in Munich in an exhibition titled 'Entartete Kunst.' Concurrently, an exhibition showcased traditional art praising the Nazi party's ideals. Ironically, this official Nazi art resembled the socialist realism of the Communists they opposed.

Some degenerate art was auctioned in Switzerland in 1939, and more pieces were sold through private dealers. Approximately 5,000 items were burned in Berlin that same year.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.