Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Looked At: "Otto Dix" edited by Otto Conzelman

Looked At: Otto Dix edited by Otto Conzelman, 1959, published by Fackeltrager-Verlag.

This is written in German. Completely in German. I do not know German. A book from West Bend PL.

I know about Dix from his post-World War I paintings. I was thinking about him after that last WWI book I read and reserved this. Having the introduction or biography or whatever in German would not have been so bad but almost all the prints are in black white. Some of Dix's work translates very well into black and white. Most pieces do not.

The works shown are mainly from the '20s and '30s. Lost of post-war German poverty. Whores, mangled veterans begging on the streets, a parade of veterans with crude prosthetics, gruesome anarchy of the battlefield. Mixed in are skilled, but stylized, portraits. Some scenes of parties and finely clothed people

A few color plates I liked were Madchenkopf (1928) which is a simple line drawn portrait of a gal. The color used was just a little shading of her face, neck and jaw. Der Krieg (1929/1932) is also in color. Der Krieg has what seems to be a Dix motif: corpses are hung or stuck in skeletal trees or the frames of bombed out buildings. He also fits in rotting and putrefied corpses in the ground around trenches.

I liked the nudes.

I don't know what Dix did during WWII. I imagine he was a very unhappy camper. Dix's work railed against war and its aftermath; I presume he would not have been been sucked into the '30s hysteria of nationalism and warring. Since this was in German I guess I will have to reserve a different book to find out.

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