Marti Cormand, the Barcelona-born Brooklyn-based painter, has taken on the Nazi conception of “degenerate art” in his latest show at the Josee Bienvenu Gallery in Chelsea. The discovery of buried modernist works in Berlin in 2010 served as part of Cormand’s inspiration. R. C. Baker, in the Village Voice, writes: “The elegiac beauty permeating Cormand’s seven-by-five-inch pictures of these doomed artworks arises less from his skill with brush and pencil, which is itself dazzling, than from the conceptual rabbit holes he navigates.”
The conceptual rabbit holes show Cormand wrestling with major art movements of 20th century without ever backing away from the history that informed them. Hitler declared war on expressionism as surely as he did on Europe, and both ended up beneath rubble. Cormand’s excavation poses myriad unanswerable questions — but among the most beautiful questions you might find. The show is called “Postcards to AZ”. Hitler didn’t just destroy people’s brains and bodies, but also art — the people’s soul. Baker reminds that the Nazi regime confiscated 22,000 works of art, destroying much of it. Hitler himself was famously a failed artist. Baker says that Cormand’s show possesses such scale that it is ultimately a “mournful exercise to contemplate how world history would have been different” if the monster hadn’t been rejected.
Marti Cormand “Postcards to AZ”
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