fascist aesthetic

   Refers to the art, design and propaganda presented in idealized realist styles, giving it a close resemblance to socialist realism, associated primarily with or produced by Adolph Hitler's Nazi Germany, Benito Mussolini's Italy, and Francisco Franco's Spain, from the 1930s to the mid-1940s. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) branded modernist art entartete — degenerate or degenerative. The fascists favored a strongly classicalstyle in contrast to the prevailing artworld styles of Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Dadaism, and Modernism in general. Hitler believed that modern art was in conflict with the eternal values of beauty and therefore could only lead to a decline of civilization. Men were depicted as patriotic, heroic and powerful, while women were neat and clean, with muscular legs and full breasts. They were often depicted as Nordic or "Aryan" — generally light blonde and very white-skinned — reflecting myths of Aryan superiority. The most prominent German artists of this style were sculptor Arno Breker and painter Adolf Wissel. Rather than censor modernist art, the Nazis confiscated it, and mounted exhibits of what they called "degenerate art." They expected Germans to recognize these works as presenting "negativity and the incomprehensibility of the world," which pitted modernist aesthetics against what fascists characterized as their own positivism, progressive goals, and noble ideals — an ostensibly hopeful Weltanschauung (world-view) that led to their ruthlessly forcing their "solutions" on the world. (pr. fa'shist es-theh'tik)

Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.

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