Raoul Hausmann was a founding member of the Berlin Dada movement and used collages, photographs, and photomontages as his artistic mediums. The Art Critic (1919-1920) is one of his notable works, identified as a satirical photomontage with a man in a suit and a German banknote choking him. This work is often considered to be a portrait of Hausmann’s friend and fellow Berlin Dadaist, George Grosz.
The crudely drawn eyes of the art critic in the montage are an essential element that becomes more revealing the longer it’s looked at. The unseeing eye conveys how mere mortals have been mesmerized by money, thereby leading them to abandon their powers of discernment. It critiques modern society’s fixation on power and money over human values.
Art critics believe that The Art Critic (1919-1920) marks Raoul Hausmann’s contribution to the discourse of the Berlin Dada group during the 1920s. Contrary to traditional forms of paintings at that time, he searched for vital, disruptive, and realistic art by piecing together scraps of words and images through collages or photomontages.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that The Art Critic (1919-1920) is part of London’s Tate Gallery collection.