Sunday, September 02, 2007

Otto Dix

Click to enlarge.

“Homage a Martha”

Otto Dix, the son of a railroad worker, was born in Unternhaus, Germany, in 1891. After attending elementary school he worked locally until 1910 when he became a student at the Dresden School of Arts and Crafts and in Düsseldorf. To help fund his education, he accepted commissions and painted portraits of local people.

He explored Expressionism and founded the Neüe Sachlichkeit movement with George Grosz. He lived in Germany during the two Great Wars and died in Singen in 1969.

Otto Dix, the great German Expressionist, was famous for his unique and grotesque style. Although Hitler's Nazi regime destroyed many of Otto Dix's works, the majority of his paintings can still be seen in museums throughout Germany such as the Otto-Dix-Haus in Gera.

For him, the "new in painting" is "an intensification of forms of expression that already existed in essence with the Old Masters.

“For me, the object remains primary and form is shaped by it." (1927)
”As a young man you don't notice at all that you were, after all, badly affected. For years afterwards, at least ten years, I kept getting these dreams, in which I had to crawl through ruined houses, along passages I could hardly get through.
Not that painting would have been a release. The reason for doing it is the desire to create. I've got to do it! I've seen that, I can still remember it, I've got to paint it. “(Otto Dix interviewed in 1963)

“I had to experience everything very precisely...
I am such a realist, you know, that I have to see everything with my own eyes.”

Otto Dix: “Homage a Martha” by Karin Schick
(Exposition of 2005 in Stuttgart catalogue)
ISBN-10: 3775716203

The Martha portraits don’t just illustrate the work of Otto Dix in all its facets and variants. They also provide a glimpse of the 1920s with its cosmopolitan style, established and revolutionary roles for the sexes, fashion, music, dance, and the quest for freedom in art and life.

A fine watercolor by Otto Dix...

“..ich habe Tatsachen gemalt, die vor Jahren genauso gültig waren wie heute, morgen und immer. Das Leben kann schön und schrecklich sein. Also ich muss auch das Schreckliche und Furchtbare machen….”(Otto Dix)


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