Höch, Hannah (1889–1978) By Norton, Sydney Jane
Hannah Höch was a German painter and photomontagist who also worked in modern domestic handicraft, fabric and fashion design. She is primarily known for the photomontages she made during the early part of her artistic career, when she was the only female member of the revolutionary avant-garde group Berlin Dada (1916–1922). Höch’s works were, on the whole, less stridently political than those of her fellow Dadaists, who, in addition to their literary and artistic creations, conveyed their revolutionary ideas in public demonstrations and written manifestos. In contrast, Höch focused primarily on her art, often meshing the domestic realm with the public sphere of Dada. By interweaving these two seemingly disparate realms, the artist was better able to examine constructions of female identity and gender relations. Höch resided in or around Berlin for most of her life. Over the span of her fifty-two-year career her style shifted from social commentary to Surrealism to abstraction, a progression which makes her œuvre impervious to art historical categorization.