Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix | 1891 – 1969
Wilhelm was a German Painter and printmaker. His works focused on the brutality of war and German society. Dix was profoundly affected by the first world war, where he fought for the German Army. Otto Dix had a recurring nightmare where he is crawling among destroyed homes.
Otto Dix had been surrounded by art since an early age. His ambition to become an artist was nurtured in his cousin’s (Fritz Amann) studio. I thought this was quite interesting since I grew up surrounded by art (my father is an artist). I always felt very lucky having someone encourage and nurture a love of art and expression. He also took an apprenticeship with the painter Carl Senff and began painting landscapes, and was then later accepted into an art driven school.
Post war, Otto became influenced by expressionism along with Dadaism and started incorporating collage elements into some of his works. In 1924 he had developed a very realistic style of painting where he used thin layers of oil paint over a tempura underpainting.
One of the best things when researching Otto Dix was learning how controversial two particular paintings were. One titled “the Trench” showed dismembered soldiers after battle.
The museum it was displayed in hid the painting behind a curtain. The mayor of Cologne cancelled the purchase of the Trench and then forced the director of the museum to resign. Another painting titled “the War Cripples” was burned.
I couldn’t find why it was burned. I’m assuming it was very upsetting. Plus the Nazi regime did not like Otto and actually forced him to leave his position as a teacher at the Dresden Academy.