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Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Kurt Schwitters, German, 1887–1948

47 20 Carnival

1947

Collage of newspaper and magazine reproductions and illustrations, yellow painted paper, gray wove paper, and white wove journal cover printed in red ink, on cardstock

image: 15.6 × 12.4 cm (6 1/8 × 4 7/8 in.)
sheet: 26.9 × 19.9 cm (10 9/16 × 7 13/16 in.)
Gift of the Estate of Katherine S. Dreier
1953.6.76
In this work Kurt Schwitters juxtaposes a large image of a woman, probably taken from an advertisement, with a drawing of a female head, possibly a magazine illustration, that appears to turn toward the other woman. The woman with the rectangle hiding her eyes seems enigmatic, almost disturbing, given the postwar context. The levity conveyed by her beaming smile, shiny hair, and attire (perhaps a bathing suit) stands in sharp contrast to the gravity of events in Schwitters’s personal life, including the death of his wife in 1944, years spent in a British internment camp, and severe health problems. Yet the overall image draws from his new cultural environment in the United Kingdom, particularly mass media and popular culture, in an almost humorous way.
Geography: 
Made in Germany
Culture: 
German
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Collages
Provenance: 

Presumed gift of the artist to Katherine S. Dreier, 1947; YUAG, Katherine S. Dreier Bequest, 1953

Bibliography: 

Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 205, ill.

Frauke V. Josenhans et al., Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2017), 127–28, 145, no. 16, ill.

Ivonna Veiherte, Daiga Upeniece, and Peter Weibel, Boris Lurie and NO!art, eds. Ieva Rupenheite and Chris Shultz, exh. cat. (Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia: Latvian National Museum of Art, 2019), 277, fig. 7.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.