Saturday, 26 November 2016

Germany: The Art of Otto Dix

On Thursday I got a postcard from Germany.

It shows the painting To Beauty by Otto Dix. Otto Dix was was a German painter and printmaker born in 1891. He was already exposed to art in his early life and entered the Academy of Applied Arts in 1910. He was one of the founders of the Dresden Secession group in 1919 and his works were shown during the German Expressionists exhibition in Darmstadt and the first Dada Fair in Berlin. He was known for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of the society during the Weimar Republic and became one of the most important artists of the New Objectivity, Neue Sachlichkeit. After the Nazis took over power in Germany they regarded Dix as a degenerate artist and some of his paintings were burned as Entartete Kunst. He had to join the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts and was forced to paint only inoffensive landscapes, but occasionally he still painted allegorical paintings that criticized Nazi ideals. After World War II Dix gained recognition in East and West Germany. He died in 1969.

To Beauty is today shown in the Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal. The Von der Heydt Museum was opened in 1902. It shows art from the 17th century until today. Under Nazi rule many of its exhibits were destroyed or sold, as they were regarded as Entartete Kunst. 

I bought this card recently in the Wolfsburg Art Museum.

With a matching stamp:
125th birthday of Otto Dix (issued 02-11-2016)
with a special postmark from the Gunzenhauser Museum in Chemnitz

In the Wolfsburg Art Museum I bought also three other cards showing Otto Dix' paintings.

Der Krieg is shown in the New Masters Gallery in Dresden. The New Masters Gallery is one of the most important museums of modern art in Germany. It emerged in 1843 when the Dresden Painting Gallery started to puchase contemporary art and in 1931 it moved to its own building. During World War II a part of its collections was destroyed by bombing. The modern day New Masters Gallery was founded in 1959 and is housed in the Albertinum since 1965.

Otto Dix enthusiastically volunteered for the German Army when World War I began. He was assigned to a field artillery regiment and later fought on the Western Front, including the Battle of the Somme. His regiment was moved to the Eastern Front in November 1917 and to Flanders in February 1918, where he took part in the German Spring Offensive. He was discharged from service in December 1918 after he was wounded in the neck. After the war he had to fight with a recurring nightmare and handled his sights in various paintings. 

Straßenbild is shown in the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. The Kunstmuseum Stuttgart is a museum of modern art. It was opened in 2005 and houses one of the most important collections of Otto Dix' works.

The portrait of Theodor Däubler is shown in the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. The Museum Ludwig was founded in 1976. It houses a big collection of art of the 20th and 21st century including one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe.

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