mediocre. At the Academy, for example, there were always masses of bad painters. There was no art in Munich, there was only art for the bourgeoisie. » Lindner’s sources of inspiration are to be found farther afield.
The most influential art that was central to Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, during the wane of Expressionism, was that of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). Germany after the armistice of 1918 was fraught with aborted revolution, foreign occupation, political assassinations, unemployment, hunger, and devastating inflation. With this as the reality of daily life, the apocalyptic vision as well as the hope for the perfectibility of mankind on the part of the Expressionist generation gave way to a cool, cynical look at the actualities of existence.
The Munich contingent of Neue Sachlichkeit, including the artists Heinrich Davringhausen, Alexander Kanoldt, Carlo Mense, and Georg Schrimpf, did not present the strongest manifestation of the style. Their painting, influenced by the Italian movements Valori Plastici and Novecento, was characterized by romantic classicism or magical realism. It lacked the powerful bite of the work of such painters as Grosz
and Dix, who worked in Berlin and Dresden respectively. Among the German Neue Sachlichkeit painters, it would seem that Christian Schad’s sober depictions of isolated and anomic humans were most significant for the young Lindner. Schad, who was born in Bavaria near Munich, had left Germany at an early age, associated himself with the Dada group in Switzerland during the war, and worked later in Naples and Vienna as well as Berlin. In his paintings, Schad held up a mirror to a high-gloss world of human corruption. His figures, living in an environment of erotic decadence, are meticulously painted in a cool, realistic manner. His men and women are portrayed without reference to any specific time and place, existing instead in a state of complete alienation in which even sexual relationships are illusory. Schad’s paintings, such as Girlfriends (1930; fig. 31), seem to prefigure Lindner’s later work. The same can be said for those by Schad’s Dutch contemporary, the acerbic realist Pyke Koch, whose work relates most closely to that of Dix in Germany. Koch’s Shooting Gallery (1931; fig. 32) depicts a demonic, rigid woman, with prominent sagging breasts and dark eyes, observing the spectator. The proprietress of a shooting gallery, she has two