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Following the example of Max Ernst’s Surrealist collages, Franz Roh pasted together nineteenth-century engravings so as to undermine the world of calm propriety with the unexpected and the irrational. These works were made in Nazi Germany, where he had been forbidden to continue as an art critic (he famously coined the phrase ‘magic realism’), so the playful disruption has a bitter aftertaste. The circus scene in Total Panic II, especially, might suggest a political allegory as Europe slid towards war.

December 2008