Otto DixOtto Dix
THE WORK AND LIFE OF OTTO DIX (1891—1969), now recognised as one of the most important German artists of the 20th century, went through periods of extreme violence and cruelty. They were indelibly marked by the horrors of the First World War, in which Dix volunteered for service, and subsequently by Nazism, which branded his work ‘Degenerate art’.
Despite the turmoil, Otto Dix made his credo the faithful depiction of reality in all its rawness, and was, like Francisco de Goya, an implacable witness of the society of his day, capturing its pomp and decadence, its crimes and pains, in an uncompromising work that is a ruthless portrayal of truth. His sharp-edged style pitted with a virtuoso, realistic technique drawing on Old Masters — Baldung-Grien, Cranach or Altdorfer — renders modern subjects, images of interwar society — crime, street or cabaret scenes.
This exhibition, devoted to Otto Dix’s prints — woodcuts, etchings, lithographs — that formed an ongoing undertaking for the artist throughout his career alongside his work in painting, showcases a collection from the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany. It revisits Otto Dix’s favourite themes — the nude, the portrait, the city, religion and war — symptomatic of his desire to portray man holistically, from birth to death, as a creature of flesh, palpitations and blood.