Exhibition review: The Atlantic Wall at the Royal Geographic

Exhibition review: The Atlantic Wall at the Royal Geographic

Jonathan Meades enjoys a new exhibition of photography at the Royal Geographical Society

Nazi Germany built prolifically. It also proscri-bed prolifically. Among its antipathies was Expression-ism, which, pace the dicta of countless architectural historians, was still flourishing in the north of the country when the NSDAP (Nazi Party) came to power in January 1933. International Modernism was decried as Communist, Expressionism reckoned indulgently individualistic.

Yet the built legacy of the 12-year Reich consists predominantly not of Classical bombast, nor even of völkisch cottages, but of approximately 60,000 defensive structures whose forms go way beyond the functional. They manifest a sculptural brawn that is often coarsely ‘legible’: their forms recall animals, reptiles and visors, whose message is that they are merciless jailers watching over the population of the occupied countries.

The Organisation Todt built many more Expressionistic structures

Article source: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/countryside/article/532560/Exhibition-review-The-Atlantic-Wall-at-the-Royal-Geographic.html

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