November Group (German)

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The November Group (German: Novembergruppe) was a group of German expressionist artists and architects. Formed on 3 December 1918, they took their name from the month of the German Revolution.

The group was led by Max Pechstein and César Klein. Linked less by their styles of art than by shared socialist values, the group campaigned for radical artists to have a greater say in such issues as the organisation of art schools, and new laws around the arts. The group merged in December 1918 with Arbeitsrat für Kunst (Workers Council of the arts – or 'The Art Soviet').

Weimar Republic[edit]

Preparation for the opening of the Great Berlin Art Exhibition [de], June 1924

The artists of the November group described themselves as radical and revolutionary. Their work, like that of the similar Arbeitsrat für Kunst, aimed to support a socialist revolution in Germany. A key objective of the group was the union of art and the people. Furthermore, the group tried to influence public and cultural aspects of society.

In 1921,[citation needed] artists from the left wing of the November Group called for an end to the "bourgeois development" of the artists. The declaration was signed by Otto Dix, George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, John Heartfield, Hannah Höch, Rudolf Schlichter and Georg Scholz.

In 1922, the decentralised November Group restructured away from a conglomeration of local groups and became part of the "Cartel of advanced artistic groups in Germany" (Kartell fortschrittlicher Künstlergruppen in Deutschland).

A synthesis of styles is a characteristic of the group, often referred to as cubo-futo-expressionism (Kubofutoexpressionismus), but really the group had quite disparate output which makes classification rather problematic.

As well as painters, there were many artists from other disciplines such as architecture and music. The musicians became one of the driving forces under their leader Max Butting (later replaced by Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt).

The November Group held regular art festivals, costume parties, studio visits, literary and musical events.

Founding members[edit]

The group was initially founded mainly by painters Max Pechstein, Georg Tappert, César Klein, Moriz Melzer and Heinrich Richter. At the first meeting on 3 December 1918 they were joined by Karl Jakob Hirsch, Bernhard Hasler, Richard Janthur, Rudolf Bauer, Bruno Krauskopf, Otto Freundlich, Wilhelm Schmid, the sculptor Rudolf Belling and the architect Erich Mendelsohn. From this group the first working committee were drawn.


A definitive list of all the members of the group is difficult to establish due to a lack of early documentation. However, one of the exhibition catalogues, which was published in 1925, shows the following list of names:



  • Helga Kliemann: Die Novembergruppe. Gebr. Mann, Berlin 1969.
  • Galerie Nierendorf: Künstler der Novembergruppe. Ausstellungskatalog Galerie Nierendorf,Berlin 1985.
  • Galerie Bodo Niemann: Die Novembergruppe. Ausstellungskatalog Galerie Niemann, Berlin 1993. ISBN 3-926298-21-9
  • Will Grohmann (Hrsg.): 10 Jahre Novembergruppe. Sonderheft der Kunst der Zeit. Klinkhardt&Biermann, Berlin 3.1928, 1-3.
  • Paul Bekker: Wesensformen der Musik. Veröffentlichung der Novembergruppe. B. Lachmann, Berlin 1925.
  • Max Butting: Musikgeschichte, die ich miterlebte. Henschel, Berlin 1955.
  • Christoph Wilhelmi: Künstlergruppen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz seit 1900. Ein Handbuch, Stuttgart 1996
  • Irene Below: Between Africa and Europe in Irma Stern: Expressions of a Journey, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg, 2003

External links[edit]