Otto DixSections
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Otto Dix, the eldest kid of Franz Dix (1862-1942), an steel foundry worker, and Louise Amann (1864-1953), a seamstress, to be born in Unternhaus, Germany, on second December, 1891. He spent a many time through his cousin, Fritz Amann, who was attempting to do a living together an artist. (1)

After attending elementary institution he operated locally. In 1906 he began an apprenticeship v painter Carl Senff, and also began paint his first landscapes. In 1910 he became a student at the Dresden school of Arts and also Crafts. To help fund his education, he welcomed commissions and also painted portraits of neighborhood people. (2)

On the outbreak of the first World battle in 1914 Dix volunteered because that the German Army and was assigned to a ar artillery regiment in Dresden. He later recalled why he joined the army: "I had actually to experience just how someone beside me suddenly falls over and also is dead and the bullet has hit that squarely. I had actually to suffer that fairly directly. I wanted it. I"m because of this not a pacifist at all - or am I? - maybe I to be an inquisitive person. I had to see all the for myself. I"m together a realist, you know, the I have to see whatever with my own eyes in bespeak to confirm that it"s favor that. I need to experience every the ghastly, bottomless depths for life for myself; it"s because that that factor that I visited war, and also for that factor I volunteered." (3)

In the loss of 1915 Dix was sent to the western Front where he served as a non-commissioned officer v a machine-gun unit. He was at the Somme during the significant allied offensive throughout the summer of 1916. Dix to be wounded number of times during the war. ~ above one chance he almost died once a shrapnel splinter hit that in the neck. His experience on the front line had actually a dramatic influence on his art: "War is so bestial: hunger, lice, mud, those insane noises... I had the feeling, top top looking at the images from my at an early stage years, that ns had totally missed one side of truth so far, specific the ugly aspect." (4)

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otto Dix, Stormtroops advancing Under a Gas assault (c. 1920)

In November 1917 his unit was moved to the eastern Front and after Russia negotiated a tranquility with Germany, Dix returned to France whereby he took component in the German spring Offensive. In august of the year he was wounded in the neck. Through the end of the battle in 1918, Dix had won the Iron cross (second class) and reached the location of vice-sergeant-major. He was discharged from business on 22nd December 1918. (5)

Otto Dix and also the first World war

After the war Dix occurred left-wing views and his paintings and also drawings ended up being increasingly political. Like various other German artists such as john Heartfield and George Grosz, Dix came to be what they referred to as "revolutionary pacifists". As Jonathan Jones has pointed out: "It was no at all obvious that a guy such together Dix would develop some the the specifying pacifist pictures of the 20th century. In 1914 he to be a fierce German patriot who joined up enthusiastically. He became a machine gunner and fought at the battle of the Somme, properly mowing down British troops. He winner the Iron cross (second class) and also began maintain to it is in a pilot. How did this courageous soldier turn into an anti-war artist? To recognize that, we should comprehend that, throughout the very first world war, a radical minority of Germans turned to artistic and political revolution, fairly than nationalism. Favor the British war poets, Germany"s young artists pertained to hate the war, yet unlike the poets, they organised to resist it." (6)

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rose oil Dix, War Cripples (1920)

Otto Dix told Maria Wetzel: "As a young guy you don"t notification at all that you were, ~ all, bad affected. Because that years afterwards, at least ten years, ns kept gaining these dreams, in which I had to keen through ruined houses, along passages I could hardly acquire through. No that painting would have actually been a release. The reason for doing it is the desire come create. I"ve acquired to perform it! I"ve checked out that, I deserve to still psychic it, I"ve acquired to repaint it." (7)

It has been suggested by Uwe M. Schneede that otto Dix was among the co-founder of modern-day Verism (the artistic preference of modern-day everyday subject matter instead of the heroic or legendary in art): "From the garish over-emphasised effects of his Dadaist starts he came via the examine of the art of previous centuries - especially of old German masters and also their an approach - to his ponderously built pictures, an exact in every detail, in i beg your pardon the object is kept balanced between an virtually aggressive here-and-now and also a removal indigenous reality." (8)

One the his most an effective paintings to be The Skat players (1920). Influenced by the work of man Heartfield, it reflects "card-playing cripples... A nightmarish vision of civilization so mutilated that the scarred stays are scarcely human. Arms, legs, jaws, ears and noses shoot away, these men duty only together a collection of spare parts cobbled together, and their building and construction is paralleled in the way the snapshot has to be made: that is an elaborate collage, the painted parts combined with glued-on playing-cards, newspapers and also bits the wood." (9)

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otto Dix, The Skat players (1920)

In 1920 George Grosz, man Heartfield and also Raoul Hausmann organised the Erste Internationale Dada-Messe in the Berlin gallery own by rose oil Burchard. It was a an extensive manifestation that Dada (a movement contained artists who rejected the logic, reason, and also aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and also anti-bourgeois protest in their works). Amongst the 174 works in the exhibition were photos by Dix, Grosz, Heartfield, Hausmann, Max Ernst, Hannah Höch and Rudolf Schlichter. "The message on the panels accompanying each exhibit was partially Dadaist-polemical, partly political." (10)

Dix to be angry about the way that the wounded and also crippled ex-soldiers to be treated in Germany. This to be reflected in paints such as War Cripples (1920), Butcher"s Shop (1920) and War Wounded (1922). In October, 1923 Dix"s huge painting, The Trench, was purchased through the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. The museum"s director, Hans F. Secker, assured him the it had been got "not without blood and sweat". He included that once the brand-new collection was to be opened up to the public in December "your painting will most likely be the biggest sensation." (11)

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rose oil Dix, Trench self-destruction (1924)

Walter Schmits, creating in The Kölnische Zeitung, commented: "In the cold, sallow, ghostly irradiate of dawn…a trench shows up into i beg your pardon a disastrous bombardment has actually just descended. A poison sulphur yellow swimming pool glistens in the depths choose a smirk indigenous hell. Otherwise the trench is to fill up through hideously mutilated bodies and also human fragments. From open skulls brains gush favor thick red groats; torn-up limbs, intestines, shreds that uniforms, pho shells type a vile heap... Half-decayed remains of the fallen, which to be probably hidden in the walls of the trench out of necessity and were exposed through the exploding shells, mix with the fresh, blood extended corpses. One soldier has actually been hurled out of the trench and lies over it, impaled top top stakes." (12)

When the paint was displayed in 1924 its relenten of decomposed corpses in a German trench developed such a public outcry that the museum"s director hid the painting behind a curtain. The local newspaper demanded the the painting have to be went back to the artist. Vice versa, a journalist asserted that the painting had received so much publicity that it had actually increased the variety of people who had seen it. One more critic explained it together "perhaps the most an effective as well and the many anti-war statements in modern-day art". In 1925 the then-mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer, cancelled the purchase of the painting and forced Secker to resign. (13)

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rose oil Dix, The Skull (c. 1922)

During the first World War, Dix had limited opportunities to paint pictures. However, he did make a large number of sketches. In 1924 Dix joined with other artists who had combated in the an initial World battle to placed on a travel exhibition that paintings referred to as No an ext War! Dix likewise produced a publication of etchings, The war (1924). Tom Lubbock described the publication as "a collection of astonished snapshots, each of which could have the motto: i can"t believe that I saw this, but I did." (14)

Hilton Kramer, argued that the people who went to the exhibition would certainly have discovered it a daunting experience: "The total effect the these photos of violence, suffering and also death is so grim and also so powerful that it’s most likely to leave more tender-hearted visitors to the exhibition reeling indigenous the experience. Even though we check out about similar horrors in the papers every day... Such graphic depictions of violent death remain far an ext disturbing 보다 the published word." (15)

Another critic commented: "A German soldier sits in a trench, resting against its muddy wall. That is smiling, yet the grin is empty and hollow-eyed – because that his face is a ceiling skull. He has actually been dead a while. No one bothered to ask him. His helmet is tho on his skull, and also his boots disclose a rotting ankle. In an additional print, a severed skull lies top top the earth. Grass has grown ~ above its crown. Much more grass resembles a moustache under the nose. The end of the eyes, vegetation bursts. Worms crawl sickeningly the end of a gaping mouth." (16)

The brand-new Realism

Frank Whitford has suggested that the work of artists such as otto Dix, developed what became known as the new Realism. "They had grown weary of the years of hectic testing that had preceded the war and also that they were worn down of all kinds of arts that were highly subjective, metaphysical, esoteric and easily accessible only to an elite. They wanted to go back to subjects that were familiar to everyone, painted in a way which everyone could understand. Some of them to be content merely to mirror typical experience that mundane things. Others, more politically inspired, preferred to angle the winter so the the dark next of culture was revealed. Every one of these artists grew a painstakingly realistic layout which emulated the smooth, anonymous surface of the photograph." (17)

Dix"s artist friends such as George Grosz and also John Heartfield joined with Paul Levi, Willie Munzenberg, Clara Zetkin, serious Toller, Walther Ulbricht, Heinrich Blücher, Julian Marchlewski, serious Thälmann, Hermann Duncker, Hugo Eberlein, Paul Frölich, Wilhelm Pieck, Franz Mehring, and also Ernest Meyer. To form the German Communist Party (KPD). End the next couple of years Grosz and Heartfield produced designs and posters for the organization. (18) Dix had original agreed through them about politics however refused to sign up with the KPD. As soon as a friend asked the to join he replied: "I don"t desire to hear about your stupid politics - I"d fairly spend the 5 marks" member fee on a whore." (19)

Metropolis (1928)

Dix functioned for six years on what is taken into consideration to be one of his two an excellent masterpieces, Metropolis (1928). The is a triptych (a painting on three panels next by side). V "dazzling colour and an excellent richness of invention, the embodied his vision that Berlin at the elevation of that frenzied decadence that the 1920s." In the left-hand panel, Dix mirrors himself together a battle cripple entering Berlin and also being greeted through a row of beckoning prostitutes. "Bleating saxophones coax customers on come the dance floor. The whores outside tell beggars to get lost and also a man with a prosthetic jaw, give a mock salute optimal passing transvestites." (20)

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otto Dix, Metropolis (1928)

Dix"s experiences in the an initial World War offered to do him specifically sensitive come the hypocrisy of post-war bourgeois society, a hypocrisy which he recognized as the product of mental suppression. "People did not want to watch the innumerable war cripples lining the streets, not wishing to it is in reminded that the terrible years. Civilization dressed up, donned masks, walk anything to stop being themselves, and lost us in the temples of pleasure. Dix developed a monument to this culture in his Metropolis Triptych, one moved to extremes through its employment of the sacred type of the triptych." (21)

Otto Dix became preoccupied with the violent excesses of city life in the Weimar Republic. "He came to think that daily crime was the reflex to and continuation the the lunacy that war: The catastrophe had actually began. I drew drunks, world throwing up, guys shaking their fists at the moon as they cursed it, the murderers the women, play at cards while sit on a produce in i beg your pardon the murder victims can be seen... I drew a guy looking roughly him fearfully, washing his hands, which had actually blood ~ above them." (22)

In 1927 rose oil Dix was offered a professorship in ~ the Dresden institution of Arts and Crafts. His interest throughout this period was focused exclusively upon people. Just in very rare instances to be his portraits commissioned works. Instead he undertook a consistent search for personalities who could carry out information about their time. That sought models in cafe, in the street, and within his circle of friends that would reflect the changes taking place in society. (23)

Sylvia von Harden, the journalist, recalls just how Dix met she in the street: "I have to paint you! I just must! You space representative of whole epoch! So, you desire to repaint my lack-luster eyes, my ornate ears, my long nose, my slim lips; you desire to paint my long hands, my short legs, my large feet - points which deserve to only scare human being off and also delight no-one? You have brilliantly characterized yourself, and all the will result in a portrait representative of an epoch pertained to not with the outward beauty that a woman yet rather v her psychological condition." (24) The portrait shows von Harden with bobbed hair and monocle, seated at a café table with a cigarette in her hand and also a cocktail in former of her. (25)

Trench warfare (1932)

Ernst Friedrich, released his book of photographs the German soldiers who had actually been badly disfigured by warfare. Dix made substantial use of these photographs as soon as he returned to the subject of war. In 1928 that said: "People were currently beginning to forget what horrible enduring the battle had brought them." He completed the second of his masterpieces, Trench war in 1932. It was a paint that attempted to drain war of any type of heroism or nobility. (26)

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rose oil Dix, Trench warfare (1932)

Trench Warfare, choose his various other masterpiece, Metropolis (1928) is a triptych. An extremely popular in middle ages times, this type was usually supplied to do altar-pieces. It has actually three main panels, v a fourth as a sustaining panel or predella listed below the main main panel. This panel is based on The human body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb by Hans Holbein.The large central panel is a 204 centimeter (80 in) square; the flanking panels to either next the same height but fifty percent the width, 102 centimeter (40 in) each; and also the predella listed below the central panel has actually the same width yet is just 60 centimeter (24 in) high. The left-handed panel reflects German soldiers marching off to war, the main panel is a step of ruined houses and also mangled bodies, and also the right-hand panel next panel reflects soldiers struggling house from the war. (27)

Nazi Germany

On 4th January, 1933, Adolf Hitler had a meeting with Franz von Papen and also decided to work together because that a government. It was determined that Hitler would be Chancellor and Von Papen"s associates would hold crucial ministries. "They likewise agreed to eliminate Social Democrats, Communists, and also Jews from political life. Hitler promised to renounce the socialist component of the program, when Von Papen pledged that he would obtain further subsidies from the industrialists for Hitler"s use... Top top 30th January, 1933, with good reluctance, Von Hindenburg called Hitler together Chancellor." (28)

Most of his artistic friends, including George Grosz and also John Heartfield, fled Nazi Germany. As Dix had actually not been an important of Hitler he believed he would certainly be safe. He justification his non-political stance by the words: "Artists shouldn"t shot to improve and convert they"re much too insignificant for that. They have to only be afflicted with witness." However, Hitler hated Dix"s anti-war paintings and also he to be sacked together professor at the Dresden college of Arts and Crafts. Dix"s dismissal letter stated that his job-related "threatened come sap the will of the German world to safeguard themselves." (29)

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otto Dix, central panel the Trench warfare (1932)

Otto Dix ongoing to repaint pictures around the an initial World War. An instance of this to be Flanders (1934), a paint that shows a step from the west Front. Dix later asserted was influenced by a i from Under Fire, a novel composed by the French soldier, Henri Barbusse. In the photo dead body float in water-filled shell-holes while those soldiers still alive resemble rotting tree stumps. "The central figure, a soldier, house behind a tree stump, trying to snatch part sleep prior to once an ext going right into battle. The landscape is fully obliterated, leaving only destroyed buildings and also trees, and also water-filled covering craters. All about are dead, wounded or tired men, who lie or sit in a morass of dirt while the sky shows up to bear down on them, dark however for the limited orange light of the sun." (30)

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otto Dix, Flanders (1934)

On 27th November, 1936, Joseph Goebbels issued the adhering to decree: "On the express authority of the Führer, ns hereby empower the chairman of the Reich chamber of visual Arts, Professor Ziegler of Munich, come select and also secure for an exhibition works of German degenerate art because 1910, both painting and also sculpture, i beg your pardon are currently in collections owned by the German Reich, through provinces, and by municipalities. You are requested to provide Professor Ziegler your complete support during his examination and selection of these works." (31)

It is estimated that 260 of rose oil Dix"s works were confiscated. "He was despised through Hitler not just since he drew and painted in a spiky, gnarled, ghoulish way that decried the ravages of people War I and spoke to Weimar anxiety, but due to the fact that his art mocked the German idea the heroism. The Munich self-portrait conveys a pride the seems prepared to vanquish an opponent that had not quite appeared on the scene once Dix painted the work-related in 1919 but that both he and also his art would certainly outlast." (32)

Other artists that suffered had Emil Nolde (1,052), Erich Heckel (729), knife Schmidt-Rottluff (688), ernst Ludwig Kirchner (639), Max Beckmann (509), Christian Rohlfs (418), Oskar Kokoschka (417), Lyonel Feininger (378), ernst Barlach (381), otto Müller (357), knife Hofer (313), Max Pechstein (326), Lovis Corinth (295), George Grosz (285), Franz Marc (130), Paul Klee (102), Paula Modersohn-Becker (70) and Kathe Kollwitz (31). The campaign versus "degenerate art" soaked up work by 1,400 artists in all. (33)

The Exhibition of Degenerate Art opened up in Munich top top 19th July, 1937. It contained 650 works of art confiscated native 32 German museums. The exhibition took trip to twelve various other cities indigenous 1937 to 1941. In all, the display drew more than 3 million visitors. The exhibition search to show the “degeneration” that artworks by placing them alongside illustrations done by the holy spirit retarded and photographs that the physical handicapped. Dix"s occupational was inserted in a section that were taken into consideration to be "art together a tool of Marxist propaganda against military service". That was declared that in these works "German soldiers were portrayed as idiots, sexual degenerates and drunks." (34)

Dix, like all other artists, was compelled to join the Nazi government"s Reich chamber of fine Arts (Reichskammer der bildenden Kuenste), a subdivision of Goebbels" social Ministry (Reichskulturkammer). Membership to be mandatory for all artists in the Reich. Rose oil Dix had to promise come paint just inoffensive landscapes or portraits. According to one of his biographers, otto Conzelmann, Dix still painted an sometimes allegorical paint that criticize Nazi ideals. (35)

Second civilization War

In 1939 Dix was arrested and also charged through involvement in a plot ~ above Hitler"s life that had actually taken place in Munich. . However, the was ultimately released and the charges were dropped. In the 2nd World war Dix to be conscripted right into the Volkssturm (German residence Guard). In 1945 Dix was forced to sign up with the German Army and also at the end of the war was captured by the French Army and was put right into a prisoner-of-war camp. (36)

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rose oil Dix, Self Portrait as Prisoner of War (1947)

Released in February 1946, Dix went back to Dresden, a city that had been virtually damaged by hefty bombing. Many of Dix"s post-war paints were spiritual allegories. However, paintings such as Job (1946), Masks in Ruins (1946) and also Ecce Homo II (1948) dealt with the suffering caused by the second World War.


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He likewise painted the anguished Self Portrait together Prisoner of War (1947) in i beg your pardon the barbed cable evokes the crown of mandrel of the Crucifixion. (37)