Also found in: Wikipedia.
Born Dec. 2, 1891, in Unterhaus, near Gera, Thuringia; died July 25, 1969, in Singen, Baden (Federal Republic of Germany). German painter and graphic artist.
Otto Dix, the son of a worker, studied at the Dresden (1919-22) and Dusseldorf (1922-25) academies of art. He was a member of a number of progressive societies and a professor at the Dresden Academy of Art (1927-33). During the 1920’s, Dix was involved in the dada, expressionist, and Neue Sachlichkeit movements; at this time he valued anarchistic and nihilistic artistic trends.
Eventually overcoming these tendencies, Dix created a number of sharply truthful, socially critical works. The injustices of bourgeois society aroused in Dix furious anger, profound anxiety, and shock. His works of the 1920’s combine ruthlessly detailed representations, bordering on caricature, with terrifying grotesque fantasy and tragically fractured forms and images which are frequently pathologically ugly. Under fascist rule, Dix was forbidden to teach or to exhibit his works; many were removed from museums, and some were destroyed. During the 1930’s, Dix made extensive use of the symbolism, subject matter, and formal devices of 16th- and 17th-century German and Dutch painting.
After 1945 he returned partially to expressionism, working in a loose style. As a result of Dix’ terrible experiences during both world wars, a spirit of irreconcilable protest permeates his antimilitarist works—The Trench (1920-23), a series of etchings entitled War (1924), the triptych War (1929-32; Picture Gallery, Dresden), and the frescoes War and Peace (1960; City Hall, Singen). With equal passion Dix expressed his hatred of the bourgeoisie, fascism, and the horrors of the capitalistic city; he also revealed his compassion for the impoverished and his solidarity with the working class—Parents of the Artist (1921, Public Art Collections, Basel), Mother and Child (1921; Picture Gallery, Dresden), the triptych The Big City (1927-28; State Gallery, Stuttgart), the antifascist allegories, The Seven Deadly Sins (1933) and The Triumph of Death (1934), and Ecce Homo (1949). Dix was a master portraitist; his portraits are exaggeratedly expressive and at times sharply cutting in their characterization—Marianne Vogelsang (1931; National Gallery, Berlin).
In the German Democratic Republic, Dix was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Arts (1956) and an honorary member of the Union of German Artists (1966).
REFERENCESTurchin, V. “Otto Diks.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1971, no. 6.
Loffler, F. Otto Dix. Leben und Werk. Dresden [I960].
Z. S. PYSHNOVSKAIA