Otto Dix

German (1891 - 1969)
Otto Dix Mädchen auf Fell [Nude Girl on a Fur] 1932 © DACS 2018.

Biography

Born 1891
Died 1969
Nationality German
Birth place Untermhaus
Death place Singen

The German artist, Otto Dix, began his career painting in an expressionist style. The experience of fighting in the First World War profoundly affected him and he subsequently produced controversial works depicting the horrors of trench warfare in a minutely detailed and realist style. He became one of the leading artists of the 'Neue Sachlichkeit' (New Objectivity) school. His work was highly critical of the Weimar Republic and extremely satirical, showing the decay of contemporary society. When the Nazis came to power, his paintings were denounced as degenerate. He was sacked from his teaching post at Dresden Academy and forced to paint only inoffensive landscapes. After the Second World War, his subjects were mainly religious or of post-war suffering.

Glossary terms

  • The term Degenerate Art (German: Entarte Kunst), was coined in the 1930s by the Nazis to ridicule modern art that did not fit with Hitler’s vision.  Confiscated by the German government, exhibitions of "Degenerate" artworks took place in cities including Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. In addition to this ridicule, the Mazi's forbade artists branded with the term from exhibiting or holding teaching posts.

  • A German art movement of the 1920s and early 1930s. It was partly a response to the experience of the First World War, with images containing elements of satire and social commentary. Stylistically it was sober and restrained, moving away from Expressionism to depictions based on close observation. Major figures associated with this style are George Grosz and Otto Dix.