Otto Dix can rightly be described as the 20th-century artist who produced the most intense and compelling works on the subject of war. His shockingly realistic depictions of dead and wounded soldiers in the trenches of the First World War have been imprinted on our collective pictorial memory – in particular his triptych entitled “Der Krieg” (War) from the Galerie Neue Meister in Dresden.
The year 2014 will see the centenary of the start of the First World War. To mark this occasion, the four panels will be investigated in all their various facets and presented in an exhibition along with Dix’s outstanding series of etchings entitled “Der Krieg” (War), published in 1924, as well as preliminary studies and drawings from his time at the front. Dix painted the triptych between 1929 and 1932 using Old Master techniques, after having been appointed professor at the Dresden Art Academy. In this work he also reflected on the rise of revanchist nationalism in the Weimar Republic as it came under increasing threats from its enemies. The exhibition will also consider Dix’s reception of the works of Old Masters and parallels with war films such as All Quiet on the Western Front after Erich Maria Remarque (1930), thus setting the work within a wider context.