Tag Archives: world war

OTTO DIX

13 Jan

Born in 1891, Germany

• 1914 volunteered for the German Army in WWI
• Wounded several times during the war. Nearly died when a shrapnel splinter hit him in the neck.
• In 1918 (end of the war), Dix had won the “Iron Cross” (second class) and reached the rank of vice-sergeant- major.
• Developed left-wing views and his paintings and drawings became increasingly political
• Angry about the way that the wounded and crippled ex-soldiers were treated in Germany.

otto dix, trench warfare

• “The Trench” was purchased and exhibited by the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. Its depiction of decomposed corpses in a German trench created such a public outcry that the museum’s director, Hans Secker, was forced to resign.
• “No More War!” travelling exhibition put on with other artists who had fought in WW1
• 1933: Hitler and Nazi Germany
• Government disliked Dix’s anti-military paintings and arranged for him to be sacked from his job as an art tutor at Dresden Academy.
Dismissal letter said his work, “threatened to sap the will of the German people to defend themselves.”

otto dix, war cripples

• “The Trench” and “War Cripples” appeared in a Nazi exhibition to discredit modern art. Later several of Dix’s anti-war paintings were destroyed by the Nazi authorities.
• With the Nazis in power, artists in Germany could only work as an artist, buy materials or show their work if they were members of the Imperial Chamber of Fine Arts.
Dix was allowed to become a member in return for agreeing to paint landscapes instead of political subjects.
• Dix mainly painted landscapes during this period, but still produced the occasional allegorical painting which contained coded attacks on the Nazi government. He exhibited several of these paintings in a one-man exhibition in 1938. In 1939 Dix was arrested and charged with involvement in a plot on Hitler’s life. Eventually he was released as the charges were dropped.

otto dix

• In 1945 Dix was forced to join the German Army to fight in WWII. At the end of the war he was captured and put into a prisoner-of-war camp. Released in Feb. 1946.
• Most of Dix’s post-war paintings were religious allegories. However, paintings such as “Job” (1946), “Masks in Ruins” (1946) and “Ecce Homo 2” (1948), dealt with the suffering caused by WWII.

Otto Dix died in 1969

Advertisements