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Pompidou exhibits Otto Dix's inter-war drawings

German realism takes over Paris

For those interested in the 1920’s German realist painters, the Neue Sachlichkeit group, this is a good month to visit Paris: as well as the Christian Schad exhibition at the Musée Maillol (see below), there is an exhibition of Otto Dix’s drawings at the Pompidou (15 January-31 March). Like Schad, Dix trained as an artist in Germany and was heavily affected by his experiences in World War I. He remained in Germany through World War II, however, painting landscapes, a subject allowed by the Nazi regime. Despite this, Dix found a way to remain true to his realist ideals, drawing cemeteries and battlefields without sentimentality. The 100 or so drawings in the show follow his work from the 1910s to 1930s. Their raw subject matter a testament to the violence of the world he inhabited. As well as the cemeteries, soldiers and orphans are dozens of clinically observed portraits of woman in sexual positions. They vary from young and old, to pregnant and painfully thin, acting as a bleak counterpoint to the images of violence and death. (above, “So sah ich als Soldat aus”, 1924).

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Otto Dix, inter-war drawings'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 132 January 2003