Nelly As Flora
Nelly As Flora
By Otto Dix
Private Collection, Canada
  • Sold: Bonhams, London 2005
  • Exhibition: St Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght, 
  • Otto Dix: Metropolis, 2 July - 18 October 1998

Nelly As Flora

Year: 1940

Description: During the height of Nazi power, Dix went into inner exile. Like Thomas Mann, his views were at odds with the regime but he chose to remain in Germany after 1933. In order to avoid confrontation, he conformed outwardly with the regime. Dix was in his 40s with a wife and children when the Nazis came to power. It's easy to empathize.

At the same time, the Nazis effectively ended his extraordinary post-war run. Dix buried expressionism when once Hitler took control of the state. He tamed his style and softened his motifs.

This work is a typical example from the period. Dix portrays his daughter is soft tones surrounded by gentle flora. It would not be out of place in a room full of Thomas Kincaids. The artist remained in Germany in order to support himself with work that at times was close to kitsch. It was a decision that would place a 13 year void in the middle of his career.

Provenance: Private Collection, Canada

  • Sold: Bonhams, London 2005
  • Exhibition: St Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght, 
  • Otto Dix: Metropolis, 2 July - 18 October 1998



Portrait of a Prisoner
Portrait of a Prisoner
By Otto Dix

Private Collection

Portrait of a Prisoner

Year: 1945

Description: When the NSDAP came to power, Dix was forced into self-imposed exile near the Swiss border. The new regime branded him a degenerate and destroyed as much of his art as they could find. Fortunately for posterity, many of his pieces were in private collections.

In the final stages of the war, Dix was conscripted into the Volkssturm, a military homeguard comprised of young boys and old men. He was soon captured by the French and spent the duration in a POW camp. Dix was granted access to materials and he painted a triptych for the prison chapel. Portrait of a Prisoner was completed inside the camp.

The prisoner is a sympathetic figure. Dix forgot his tendency to accentuate his subject's worst features. After the war, his art would take on a strong relgious tone. Here we find a foreshadowing of that tendency as barb wire creates the prisoner's crown of thorns.

Provenance:

Private Collection



Self-portrait as a Prisoner of War <br /><i>Selbstbildnis als Kriegsgefangener</i>
Self-portrait as a Prisoner of War
By Otto Dix
Public Museum
  • Galerie der Stadt, Stuttgart (on loan)
  • Löffler 1947/2 
  • Oil on pressed fiberboard

Self-portrait as a Prisoner of War
Selbstbildnis als Kriegsgefangener

Year: 1947

Description:

As Nazi Germany collapsed, Otto Dix was drafted into Volkssturm along with other old men and young boys. He was promptly captured and ended the war in a French POW camp. While in the camp, he was granted access to art materials which he used to paint a triptych for the prison chapel. While he did create work inside the camp, this portrait was done from memory after his release. Prisoner Dix is an old man with a deeply lined face, troubled by his circumstances. His stoic demeanor is contrasted with that of the Fool behind him.

During this period, he undergoes stylistic changes. His brush strokes become shorter and end more abruptly. The overview is more shredded and porous. Dix was trying to remain relevent as another human tragedy brought its influence to bear on 20th Century art. 

Provenance: Public Museum

  • Galerie der Stadt, Stuttgart (on loan)
  • Löffler 1947/2 
  • Oil on pressed fiberboard



Self-portrait in Fur Cap against Winter Landscape <br /><i>Selbstbildnis mit Pelzkappe vor Winterlandschaft</i>
Self-portrait in Fur Cap against Winter Landscape
By Otto Dix
Private Collection
  • Unknown collector, France
  • Löffler 1947/3
  • Oil on plywood

Self-portrait in Fur Cap against Winter Landscape
Selbstbildnis mit Pelzkappe vor Winterlandschaft

Year: 1947

Description: When the Third Reich fell at the end of the Second World War, Dix was freed from the Nazi's artistic oppression yet his style never regained its Interwar edge.

His war, the First World War was a distant memory and Dix didn't seem to have much stomach for the depicting the Second. His late period is characterized by a large number of self-portraits. This one, from a private collection in France, is considered among the most important.

Rembrandt famously depicted himself in a fur hat. So did Vincent van Gogh. Like both those artists, Dix pays particular attention to the details of material texture. The fur cap, the heavy jacket and leather gloves overwhelm the artist's face and hands. This was a remarkable departure from his portraiture statements during the 1920s. 
 

Provenance: Private Collection

  • Unknown collector, France
  • Löffler 1947/3
  • Oil on plywood



Garden In Spring <br /><i>Garten Im Fruehling</i>
Garden In Spring
By Otto Dix
Private Collection

Garden In Spring
Garten Im Fruehling

Year: 1957

Description: Late in his career, Dix turned his attention away from the war. 

Provenance: Private Collection



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  • Björn Sjöling

    what beautiful work

  • http://radarman1946.tumblr.com/ Melvin

    Imagine the hideous dreck with which we will be tortured when Trump and his cronies begin to impose their “taste” in art upon us! I am surprised that President Draft-Dodger Pussy-Grabber has not begun to apply gold paint to the entire White House.

  • Alice Rohr

    I’m impressed. Thank you for a fine selection of pictures and fine comments.

  • Richard Foran

    Yes very good ,he might just be my new favourite German artist. We often think of artist as soft folk or a bit wimpy ,poets and writers, yet Otto draws this stuff during national feverism ,guts, A lot of brave talent in European artists from ww1 onwards at very dangerous times.

    Doing works like these really convince you that these types of people have no interest in money nor fame and were all about there perceptions of the world around them.

  • Richard Foran

    Given the human rights at the time and the national socialist movement , its a miracle all of the dadaist were not shot

  • Richard von Bitter

    Mistake in the description. The Wehrmacht was the German army in WWII. In WWI it was called the Deutsches Heer