Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"I have made new things again that can cause nervous shock to the faint of heart; horror for moralists." Otto Dix, quoted in Otto Dix: The Art of Life.
"I am a realist. I must see everything. I must experience all of life's abysses for myself." Otto Dix spoke these words toward the end of his life, six years before his death in 1969. This credo is testimony to the artist's uncompromising commitment to even the harshest realism and stood as a guiding principle throughout his life. Dix's artistic development was intrinsically tied to the historical events and political debacles surrounding the two World Wars in Germany. As a soldier in the killing fields of World War I, Dix witnessed the brutality of industrialized warfare, the killing, the rape and the destruction. Registering all he witnessed and experienced in arresting artworks alone had meaning to him: to depict reality just as it is perceived, no matter how terrible or hideous. To reach this goal, he employed his exceptional proficiency in diverse artistic techniques and painting styles to express what existed in the world in the most compelling way possible. Dix's lifelong and unrelenting quest for uncompromising realism remains impressive and relevant to this day. His art has been shown in numerous exhibitions around the globe and continually earns ever greater recognition. Still, the themes of Dix's paintings, their portrayal and the artist's biography have also caused controversy. Dix viewed his artistic production outside of any social or religious moral framework; one could say he was politically incorrect avant la letter. His radical stance resulted in several trials during his lifetime, and to repeated posthumous accusations of glorifying violence and misogyny. Yet because Dix refrained from formulating a theoretical explanation of his art, it is rather difficult to ascertain the motivation or intention behind his more explicit works. It is therefore essential to view the "original" paintings, works on paper and prints and follow his often expressed principle, the closest he came to formulating an artist's statement: "Trust your eyes."
Published by Hatje Cantz. Edited by Nils Büttner, Daniel Spanke. Text by Julia Bulk, Nils Büttner, James van Dyke, Olaf Peters, Birgit Schwarz, Änne Söll, Daniel Spanke, Ilka Voermann, et al.
“The Neue Sachlichkeit: I invented it.” Thus Otto Dix (1891–1969), looking back with characteristic directness, chose to rewrite the development of the art movement that can be considered the “third path”--alongside Abstraction and Expressionism--taken by progressive artists in the modern era. Situated somewhere between the grotesque and the classical, Dix’s harsh, unrelenting realism produced some of the most horrific depictions of the First World War, and some of the most critical portrayals of the Weimar Republic. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart, Otto Dix and New Objectivity is the first publication to fully illuminate the Neue Sachlichkeit against the backdrop of the Weimar Republic and National Socialism. The exhibition brings together around 120 works to investigate what characterizes the New Objectivity and how variously the term has been used and interpreted since the 1920s. Some of Dix’s key works--including the “Metropolis” triptych (1928–29), the great psychological portraits and the landscapes with their hidden symbolism painted during the years Dix spent at Lake Constance--form the departure point for this exploration of his oeuvre. They are placed in context alongside the works of George Grosz, Franz Lenk, Werner Peiner, Franz Radziwill, Christian Schad, Rudolf Schlichter and Georg Scholz, creating a new perspective on this crucial chapter in German art history and illuminating these artists’ various reactions to the National Socialist aesthetic and art policy.
Few painters are as strongly linked to the historical events and political catastrophes of twentieth-century Germany as Otto Dix (1891–1969). Born to a working-class family at the turn of the twentieth century, he hurled himself into the art world of the prewar era, and fought and drew on the front during World War I; after 1918, he gave that war perhaps the most honest face bestowed on it by an artist. During the Weimar Republic, Dix emerged as an enfant terrible, a dandy and an urban sophisticate, but he was also a respected professor and pedagogue, until he was driven from his position by the Nazis a few months after they came to power. Ostracized and threatened under the Nazi regime, Dix retreated to Lake Constance, where he began painting in the broader brushstokes that characterize his final phase. Published in Hatje Cantz's new Art to Read series, Philipp Gutbrod's expertly written biography examines an eventful life and a multifaceted oeuvre.
Between 1921 and 1933, while painter Otto Dix was in his 30s and early 40s--in the years following the Great War, in which he had fought for Germany at the Somme, and which had driven him to make some of the most controversial, violent art of his generation--Dix put much of his artistic energy into portraits of his lover and later wife, Martha. The paintings, watercolors, drawings and humorous sketches brought together here show Martha Dix advancing through roles as a sophisticated, emancipated woman; as lover, muse, and intellectual companion; and then as mother and heart of the family. The painter's widely varying attitudes toward his most frequent model, which range from admiration and intimacy to increasing distance, transpose themselves into a myriad of styles. The titles of the works, which range from emotionally charged imagery to matter-of-fact description, underscore this shift. Martha Dix's portraits, organized here by the Otto Dix Foundation she helped to found, document the urbanity, shifting gender roles, fashions, arts and artistic and social freedoms that bloomed in the 1920s, as well as Otto Dix's shifting perspectives and techniques. Comes with a sexy garter-esque ribbon page-marker.