Magazine article Tate Etc.

John Heartfield

Magazine article Tate Etc.

John Heartfield

Article excerpt

The Gestapo came for him at 4am on 14 April 1933, but John Heartfield managed to jump from a balcony of his Berlin studio and hide in the courtyard for seven hours while the Nazis trashed his studio and destroyed his artwork. The next day the legendary political artist and graphic designer joined up with the Red underground network and escaped to Prague, where he carried on producing his anti-Nazi and anti-war photomontages for the weekly journal AIZ (ArbeiterIllustrierte-Zeitung - Workers' Illustrated Newspaper).

Born Helmut Herzfeld in 1891 in Berlin, his parents suddenly abandoned him aged eight, along with his three siblings, one night on an Austrian mountainside. After years with a foster family, a spell in a monastery, school and then four years of art school in Munich, where he studied typography and illustration, he returned to Berlin. …

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