FROM KOLAJ 33
The Astonishing Friedl Dicker-Brandeis
For those driven to create during dangerous periods in history, art is not an indulgence. To Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, life under Fascism led to socially committed art, utopian dreams and, finally, tragedy. Her photo collages, made during the rise of National Socialism in Austria, are evidence that imagination can flourish, even in dark times. Ginger Sedlarova recounts the history of this remarkable artist in Kolaj 33, “Between 1930 and 1934, when Vienna was undergoing waves of Nazi terror, Friedl took on Adolf Hitler through anti-fascist and anti-capitalist montages, creating works that attacked Der Führer and his movement and also focusing on children and other victims left behind by the era’s political and moral disasters.”
Dicker-Brandeis’ collages were likely destroyed after she was arrested in 1934 in Vienna and government agents searched her studio. Remarkably, negatives from photographs the artist took survived and allow us to get a glimpse of her work.
Working with scissors and glue, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis cut photos from magazines, pasting them together to illustrate the chaos she saw happening around her and photographing the result.
Ginger Sedlarova is a collage artist living in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. She first discovered Dicker-Brandeis’ collages at a show of German and Austrian art of the 1930s at the Neue Gallery in New York and was in awe of Friedl’s use of composition and imagery and her bravery. Learn more about Sedlarova’s work at the Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory, at www.gingersedlarova.com and on Instagram @gingersedlarova.