Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Man as Industrial Palace

Fritz Kahn (1888-1968), one of the principal creators of the 20th-century conceptual medical illustration. Kahn, a German Jewish gynecologist, artist, and popular science writer, was part of a larger "visual education" movement that sought to use film, exhibition display and artful printed graphics as a revolutionary way of instructing, and transforming, mass audiences, a new technology of information and subjectivity. In his artwork, Kahn situated the body in industrial modernity -- and industrial modernity within the body -- using a modernist visual rhetoric influenced by surrealism, art deco, cubism and other contemporary aesthetic approaches. Directly and indirectly, during his lifetime his illustrations had a huge influence: on scientific illustration for the public; and on illustrations of the body in commercial graphics

Shortly before Hitler came on power in 1933, Fritz Kahn travelled to Palestine, where he started to work on his manuscript Die Naturgeschichte Palestinas (The Natural History of Palestine).

Because of the political situation in Germany, he was not able to return there. Eventually, he became a citizen of Palestine and settled in Jerusalem. In 1939, Fritz Kahn left Palestine for France and Portugal before he was able to immigrate to the United States early in 1941 with the help of Varian Fry and Albert Einstein. (more from MOON RIVER)