My Highlights from Art Basel 2014
bpk, Berlin / Art Resource, NY / Dix, Otto (1891-1969) © ARS, NY
Shown at the 1937 Nazi "Degenerate Art" ("Entartete Kunst") exhibition in Munich. Later destroyed.
In his Expressionist prints and paintings, Otto Dix immortalized the unprecedented horrors of World War I and its crippling aftereffects on life in Berlin. Anguish radiates from Dix’s desolate landscapes of military trenches filled with barely distinguishable, decaying human remains, the legacy of the first industrialized war, while images of poor, disfigured, and lonely veterans invisible to passersby on the streets were comments on war’s unequal impact on different societal groups. Exploitation is also the theme of his “Femme Fatale” paintings, criticizing the narcissism that drove women to work the system in attempt to outdo one another—a representation of the social turmoil at the time. Along with George Grosz, Dix is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit (“New Objectivity”), a term used to characterize the turn of public attitudes in Weimar Germany toward the practical and functional and the art the emerged from it.
German, 1891-1969, Gera, Germany