Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In the Eyes of Dix and Grosz: War and Weimar

The German artists Otto Dix (1891-1969) and George Grosz (1893-1959) captured the horrors of World War I and the spiraling euphoria and eventual collapse of the Weimar Republic. Usually classified as Expressionists, both men are also considered members of the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) movement which sought to bring out greater "realism" in the objects being portrayed. Both men are satirists and have a pretty low opinion of human beings. What similarities can you see between the images they create of war and those of high-living (or low-living) German society? Do these images convey a cohesive philosophy in regard to who/what human beings are? Are there any similarities to the visual critique of German culture offered by Dix and Grosz and the authors we've read? The first American restrospective of Dix's work is now on at the Neue Galerie in New York City.


The Salon, oil on canvas, 1921

Beauty, oil on canvas, 1922

Machine-gun Squad Advances (Somme, November 1916), drawing,
from the 1924 series The War (Der Krieg).

Take a look here for more than 100 artworks created in response to World War I.

Lustmurder, watercolor, 1922(?)


Suicide, oil on canvas, 1916

A Winter's Tale, oil on canvas, 1917

A Writer is He?, pen and ink, 1934

Eclipse of the Sun, oil on canvas, 1926

The Survivor, oil on canvas, 1944

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