This essay posits that the tactical alliance in the mid-1920s between Willi Münzenberg and John Heartfield shaped the imagery of a united political front for the Communist International (Comintern). The collaboration between the Comintern's minister of propaganda for western Europe and this avant-garde artist led to the fusion of the international reputation of Heartfield's photomontages and of Münzenberg's Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ) in 1929. Consequently, Münzenberg formed a transnational network that relied unintentionally on the various publishers and illustrated magazines that imitated the AIZ or the graphic artists who reproduced Heartfield's montages in the name of pro-Soviet sympathy and antifascist solidarity. An overlooked detail in this story is the role that Heartfield's brother Wieland Herzfelde played in expanding the reception of Heartfield's work among Spanish and French graphic artists in 1931. This essay therefore sheds light on what has remained obscured by the political history of the interwar and postwar years.
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Research Article| August 01 2009
Cristina Cuevas-Wolf; Montage as Weapon: The Tactical Alliance between Willi Münzenberg and John Heartfield. New German Critique 1 August 2009; 36 (2 (107)): 185–205. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2009-005
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