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"ArtCurious" Podcast host Jennifer Dasal explores the early years of Neue Sachlichkeit artist, the German painter Otto Dix. Here's his biography-- enjoy!
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Wilhelm Heinrich. Otto Dix was born on December 2 1891 in Hunter Mouse Germany, which is now part of the city of Jura in the Central German state of Thuringia. His father franz was a mold maker who worked at an iron foundry and his mother louise worked as a seamstress, although she also wrote poetry as such. Both his parents exposed young auto to the arts at a very early age. And if you listen to the art curious podcast in the past, then this next part will sound very familiar to you. So, Otto Dix began first exploring and examining an inclination towards the arts while a young boy in elementary school and under the keen eye and support of his teachers, he then took up drawing. At age 10. He began spending time with his cousin, a painter named Fritz, a man and he began watching him work and occasionally modeling for his cousins compositions and he was just knocked out by all of it, impressed with the older artists work and studio. He determined that he himself would also become a painter. By 1909 at age 18 he enrolled in the dressed in Academy of Arts and Craft, but at the time the Academy wasn't a formal art school but instead more of a craft oriented education, aiming more at the applied arts or decoration and design for more practical or utilitarian items rather than the quote unquote fine stuff that we are used to seeing in museums today. I know, I think the delineation between arts and crafts is pretty un cool and the line between the two is pretty blurry today and I am thankful for that. But all of this to say that Dicks was really getting what he wanted at the Dresden Academy, he wanted to paint really, really paint and so he had to teach himself how to do it. Otto Dix taught himself how to paint by studying old masterworks from the dutch, italian and german traditions, taking in everything from the italian renaissance to dutch and Flemish baroque art and beyond their methods and techniques of paint layering, color theory and perspective. He also valued the work of post impressionists, particularly Vincent van Gogh. After he saw an exhibition of Van Gogh's works in 1913, Young Auto was drawn to Van Gogh's luminous, colorful brush strokes, But the work that had the longest lasting effects on Dick's own works of art was done by the German expressionists of the D Brooke, a group based in Dresden since 1905. De Broca or the Bridge originally consisted of famed painters like ernst Ludwig kirchner, Carl, Schmitt Ratliff, a million olga and max Pechstein, among many others, like their french semi counterparts. The folks, they loved the use of arbitrary and unnatural colors to heighten the emotion of seen as well as the influence of non Western arts then identified with the now pejorative term primitivism. But unlike the phobes, de Broca's images could be stark and disturbing, even violent, focusing less on the natural world and more on the corruption and alienation of the urban environment at the dawn of the 20th century. This was huge to auto and this dark and unvarnished look at life would become a hallmark for him as his career progressed and one that seemed almost inevitable after the dawn of World War One, When World War I erupted in 1914.
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