Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Otto Dix


Self-portrait (1913) 


Portrait of Sylvia von Harden, 1926

'I must paint you! I simply must! … You are representative of an entire epoch!'

She walked in one direction and he in the other. Dix stopped in his tracks. "I must paint you, I simply must! You represent an entire epoch." She was amused. "You want to paint my lacklustre eyes, my ornate ears, my long nose, my thin lips. You want to paint my short legs, my big feet - things that can only frighten people and delight no one?" To Dix, her depiction was perfect. The portrait would represent a generation concerned not with the outward beauty of a woman but her psychological condition.

Portrait of the Singer Elisabeth Stüntzner 1932


Portrait of Dr. Heinrich Stadelmann, 1922

Dr. Heinrich Stadelmann was a clinical psychologist and a specialist in nervous systems. His sessions often included hypnotic therapy. In this portrait he appears both mad and under the spell of his own hypnotic trance. His eyes bulge and glitter. His fists are clenched and his posture is tense. What demons lurk beneath that morbid exterior? It's as though Dix turned tables on the doctor released them with his own psychological examination.

Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix (German: [ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈhaɪnʁiç ˈɔto ˈdɪks]; 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit.