Urgent Museum Notice

In Front of a Red Evening Sun

Close up of In Front of a Red Evening Sun

Abstract painting rendered in sketchy brushstrokes features stylized geometric shapes in an architectural composition. Muted blues, greens, and yellows dominate while a deep orange circle blazes in the lower left quadrant.

Hannah Höch, In Front of a Red Evening Sun, n.d.; Oil on canvas, 31 1/4 x 29 1/2 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

In Front of a Red Evening Sun
Hannah Höch

Though Hannah Höch is best-known as a pioneer of photomontage, her painting In Front of a Red Evening Sun illustrates her ongoing experimentation with abstraction. Höch was one of the founders of Berlin Dada. This international art movement reacted to the horrors of World War I and rejected traditional art forms. Höch exhibited her art—primarily photomontages—until the 1930s when the Nazi regime demanded the end of the Dada movement.

At that time, Höch moved north of Berlin and continued to create art in seclusion. Her post-War paintings often center on the pictorial ideas of flatness, basic geometry, and spatial allusions, which also characterized her early oil paintings from the 1920s. In Front of a Red Evening Sun likely dates to the post-War period. Its flattened, fractured-looking background, simplified geometric shapes, jagged contours, and vivid colors create a visually dynamic composition. Without the descriptive title identifying the prominent red-orange sphere as a sun, the painting could function as purely non-represenational.

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Hannah Höch
  • Title

    In Front of a Red Evening Sun
  • Date

  • Medium

    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions

    31 1/4 x 29 3/8 in
  • Donor Credit

    Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay
  • Photo Credit

    Lee Stalsworth
  • On Display