Hannah Wiemer

Landschaftslektüren zwischen Theater, Kunst und Krieg 1914–1945
[Camouflage. Landscape Readings between Theatre, Art and War 1914–1945]

De Gruyter, Berlin 2020, 304 pages
ISBN 978-3-11-065223-9

Art in war? Using the history of camouflage as an example, the book shows how, in the first half of the 20th century, surprising new forms of cooperation emerged for producing camouflage. Artists emphasized their expertise in creating illusions and developed spotty camouflage patterns, scene-like dummies, nightly light installations and also taught camouflage.

Using the London salon painter Solomon J. Solomon and the Chicago New Bauhaus (director: László Moholy-Nagy) as examples, the study examines the interplay between art and war. Thus, not only does it deal with the renegotiation of the social role of art, but also with the new visual experience of seeing landscapes from an aerial perspective and with the somewhat unsettling question of how perception can be deceived and manipulated for the sake of war.