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Nikolaus Braun, Berlin Street Scene (1921)

Nikolaus Braun (1900-50) was a member of the November Group [Novembergruppe], a group of artists and architects that took its name from the November revolution of 1918/19. The group was led by Max Pechstein, César Klein, and others. Braun's Berlin Street Scene, which depicts a fractured urban modernity defined by mass production, mass transportation, and advertising, touches upon themes that preoccupied many artists of the time. The Dada poet and satirist, Walter Mehring, drew on similar themes in Das Ketzerbrevier. Ein Kabaretprogramm, a collection of cabaret lyrics published the same year:

The ads take possession of life. . .

At the exit of the anatomy cabinet in the evening
The streets sail under a monster gas meter.
The flying brothers
Five percent power savings.
Sous les ponts de Paris
And fishergirl, little one
Posters of colorful buntings
The magic king with the ace of spades
[ . . . ]

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Nikolaus Braun, Berlin Street Scene (1921)

© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz