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Käthe Kollwitz & Sue Coe: All Good Art is Political at Galerie St. Etienne

Brooklyn Rail - Art Review - February 7, 2018

A woman, face blemished with grime, sleeps in a half-sitting position, her head propped in one hand. Her body curls protectively against those of two small children. One appears to be only an infant, and the other is wound into a thin blanket fast asleep, shadows encircling her eyes and mouth agape in an expression of utter exhaustion. Her mother’s face echoes the fatigue. Rendered in thick, smudgy lines and tender crosshatching, Municipal Shelter (1926), a lithograph by Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), depicts the plight of the little family with acute, almost painful sensitivity. The early 20th-century master German draughtswoman staked her career on exposing the horrors and injustices of modern life as she saw them: poverty, the ravages of war, and the disenfranchisement of women.


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