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Otto Dix (1891 - 1969)
Related: "degenerate art" - expressionism - German art
Portrait of Journalist Sylvia Von Harden (1926) - Otto Dix [Google gallery]
Contemporaries: Sylvia Beach - Siegfried Kracauer - H.P. Lovecraft - Henry Miller - Walter Benjamin - Céline - Aldous Huxley - Paul Éluard - Antonin Artaud
Otto Dix (December 2, 1891 - July 25, 1969) was a German expressionist and anti-war painter and a veteran of First World War. His most famous paintings were Metropolis (1928) and a 1932 triptych Trench Warfare. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Dix [Aug 2005]
Otto Dix was born in Untermhaus, Germany, now a part of the city of Gera. In 1910 he entered the Dresden School of Arts and Crafts and supported himself as a portrait painter.
When the First World War erupted, Dix enthusiastically volunteered for the German Army. He was taken to a field artillery regiment in Dresden. In the fall of 1915 he was assigned as a non-commissioned officer of a machine-gun unit in the Western front and took part of the Battle of Somme. He was seriously wounded several times. In 1917 his unit was transferred to the Eastern front until the end of hostilities with Russia. Back in the western front, he fought in the German Spring offensive. He earned the Iron Cross and reached the rank of vice-sergeant-major. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Dix, Mar 2004
When nazis came to power in Germany, they regarded Dix as degenerate artist and had him sacked from his post as an art teacher in Dresden Academy. He moved to Lake Constance. Dix's paintings The Trench and War cripples were exhibited in the Nazi exhibition of degenerate art. They were later burned. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Dix [Mar 2004]
Dix embraced every aspect of reality including its negative side. He was a critical and curious investigator who had a wicked sense of humor that contained a strong element of the grotesque. He often juxtaposed Horror and Humor. He had a particular interest in tattoos and believed that the face and hands revealed the most about human character. --http://www.germanexpressionism.com/printgallery/dix/, accessed Mar 2004
Skull (1924) - Otto Dix
Skull (1924) - Otto Dix
Image sourced here.
See also: depression - Otto Dix - death - German art - 1924 - art
Seven Deadly Sins, 1933 - Otto Dix
Seven Deadly Sins, 1933 - Otto Dix (Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Germany)
Otto Dix created this painting titled The Seven Deadly Sins in 1933. It is an allegorical painting representing the political situation in Germany at the time, and was created immediately after the Nazis had Dix removed from his teaching position at the Dresden Art Academy. The figures are Avarice (an old, bent over hag clutching at money), Envy (who rides the back of Avarice), Sloth (the figure in the skeleton costume who holds the scythe, and whose legs and arms form a rough swastika), Lust (who dances in a lascivious way behind Death, Anger (the horned Demon behind Death), Pride (the enormous head behind the scythe, whose ears are plugged and who has an anus for a mouth), and Gluttony (represented by the figure in the uppermost right corner who wears a cooking pot on his head).
The figure of Envy, who rides the back of Avarice, wears a mask of Adolf Hitler. As a matter of precaution, Dix did not paint in the Hitler mustache until after the War! The figure of Sloth is prominently featured because the Artist blamed the German people's lack of alarm and concern as a primary reason for the Nazis rise to power. This Oil and Tempera painting done on wood shows Dix to have been one of Germany's greatest painters.
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