1914-1918 | World War

Dix is one of the few German artists to experience the First World War on the front lines from 1915 to December 1918 as a "natural event" and while doing so formulate his self-conception: "the artist is one who has the courage to say yes" [war diary, 1915/16]. In addition to almost 500 drawings, Löffler and Pfäffle's indexes of his work indicate just five paintings as well as 86 gouache watercolors. Using pencil, charcoal and ink on satchel-size sheets of packing paper, Dix experiments successively with the expressive possibilities of Modernism, from realistic exploration of objects to Expressionist distortion of forms and Cubofuturist deconstruction of objects, to an abstract apocalyptic vision. The focus of the thematic spectrum is less the everyday life of the soldier, but rather the bizarre war aesthetic of rubble, craters and trenches. In contrast to the Veristic polemics of later war compositions, the machine-gunner tries to use stylistic approaches to "ban" the horror.

Gouaches Drawing