Dix, Otto

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Dix, Otto

Otto Dix, 1891–1969, German painter and draftsman. Dix fought in World War I and returned to Düsseldorf haunted by the horrors he had witnessed. In 1924 he published War, a series of 50 etchings, horrifying visions of war's victims executed with great clarity. Associated with the new objectivity movement in German expressionism, he depicted the sordid world of prostitutes and swindlers with a painful precision and intensity. His many arresting expressionist portraits (including many self-portraits) represent a cross-section of the world of the Weimar Republic. His work was condemned by the Nazis, who forced him from his professorship at the Dresden Academy of Art, drove him into internal exile in 1933, and included him in their 1937 exhibition of "degenerate" art. Accused of an attempt on Hitler's life in 1939, he was imprisoned in Dresden and later made a prisoner of war by the French. After the war he lived in West Germany.

See biographies by L. G. McGreevy (1981), F. Loffler (1982), E. Karcher (1988), and P. Gutbrod (2010); O. Peters, ed., Otto Dix (2010); I. F. Walther and E. Karcher, Dix (25) (2010).

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