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Dix, Otto : 1891 - 1969
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Biographical Information:
Dix worked as an apprentice to a decorative painter for 4 years before studying at the Dresden School of Arts and Crafts. He was a proletarian by upbringing, his father was railroad worker in western Germany, as well as by theoretical conviction. His combat experience from 1914-1918 made him fiercely antimilitaristic. He returned to Dresden after World War I and later went to Duesseldorf to study. From 1922 to 1925 he taught at the Duesseldorf Academy. In the 1920's he acquired his reputation as a critic of society and of war. In 1927 he was given a professorship at the Dresden Academy but was dismissed in 1935 by the Nazis and forbidden to exhibit. He was jailed in 1939 in Dresden for allegedly plotting against the life of Adolf Hitler. His war paintings, gruesome descriptions of indescribable horrors, are rooted in the German Gothic tradition of Gruenewald. The brutalities of trench warfare had horrified Dix, and he revealed them with unrelenting intensity in his pictures. Before 1920 Dix had painted in a variety of styles, from Impressionism and Decorative Abstraction to Cubism and finally, as an expression of anarchic revolt, to Dada. In the mid-1920s he and George Grosz were leaders in the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement, a reaction against all that was lyrical, personal, and mystic in Expressionism although it retained many expressionist techniques. Artists turned to contemporary themes and to a treatment relatively more realistic. This is a symptom of the postwar reaction against abstraction, a reaction most marked in Germany but also evident in most of Europe and in America. Even many of the pioneers of Fauvism and Cubism were involved in it. However, the superrealism of Dix was not simply a return to the past. In his portrait of the physician "Dr. Mayer-Hermann" (1926), the massive figure is seated frontally, framed by the vaguely menacing machines of a laryngologist. Although the painting includes nothing bizarre or extraneous, the overpowering confrontation gives a sense of the unreal. For this type of "superrealism" - as distinct from Surrealism - the term "Magic Realism" was created: a mode of representation that takes on an aura of the fantastic because commonplace objects are presented with unexpectedly exaggerated and detailed forthrightness. After World War II, Dix rejected his realistic approach for a personal interpretation of religious themes in a manner that is decidedly expressionist and reminiscent of Nolde.


Artists Works:
Dix, Eulabee
Dix, Otto
Dix, Otto
Dixon, Don
Dixon, Ken
Dixon, Maria
Dixon, Maynard
Dixon, Naomi Sharon
Dixon, William
Dixon, William
Leding, Anne Dixon
Naomi Sharon Dixon

...more works by Dix, Otto

Museum Resources:
Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, Inc.
Neue Nationalgalerie


Commercial Resources:
Bingham Gallery


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