Otto Dix (1891-1969)

German Expressionists

Otto Dix, Mahlzeit in der Sappe (Mealtime inside Trenches), 1924
“For all its waste, the war offered a windfall for scavengers. The very first World War produced generations of pleased worms and maggots. Trench rats roamed as huge as beavers. Gas was occasionally a welcome respite as it decimated these pests.”

– Taken from Otto Dix: Der Krieg convention pamphlet through the De La Warr Pavilion.

Between 1915 and 1925, Dix created an important number of paintings as an easy way of arriving at terms together with harrowing wartime experiences. He started painting in an innovative new style; a style which blended particular stylistic tropes and areas of both Futurism and Expressionism, plus in 1924 he produced Der Krieg – an accumulation fifty etchings and aquatints. The show is perhaps one of the greatest anti-war depictions ever to-be made, and it is often when compared with Francisco Goya’s Los Desastres.

This idea of depiction of destruction and upheaval as a source of innovative impulse was widely typical during years following very first World War, resulting in an alternate type of Expressionism growing within Germany. At this time, there was clearly a clear move from a primitive, nostalgic, very nearly disengaged pre-war Expressionism, to a much angrier, governmental, ravaged Expressionism within the many years following the very first World War. Expressionist designers at the moment seemed – very naturally – engulfed by a ‘madness’ brought on by the normalisation of warfare and everything that included it.

Notably, in 1937, Dix’s work was included in the Nazi produced Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) convention in Munich. Before the party had arrive at run in 1933, they had started comparing photos by avant-garde artists with those of this ‘clinically crazy.’ Paul Schultze-Naumburg, a Nazi architect, was famous for contrasting the works of modern artists, such as Emil Nolde, with photographs of patients with real disabilities utilizing the purpose of showing that modern art had been pathological and degenerate.[1]

The Nazis utilized contemporary art; Cubist, Expressionist and Dadaist works and others, as a scapegoat the nation’s financial collapse – an expected conspiracy by Communists and Jews, and rather attemptedto bring the focus of art back to the beliefs for the human body.[2]

“A trench soldier quickly gulps a meal with a person skeleton caught inside frozen landscape beside him.”

July 19 1937 in Munich: significantly more than 650 paintings, sculptures and prints obtained from huge German general public choices had been put-on screen using the goal of showing the German population what kind of art would be to be considered naturally ‘un-German.’ Both abstract and representational works, including pieces by Dix, were condemned – since had been the attempts to combine art and industry that were pioneered because of the Bauhaus musicians and artists. The exhibition, nevertheless unfortunately, made someplace for itself as the utmost visited and viewed exhibition of modern art, with two million visitors in Munich, and another one million viewers whilst travelled across Germany and Austria.


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