080609: Kunsthalle Krems: Otto Dix – Between Paradise and Collapse

Kunsthalle Krems: Otto Dix – Between Paradise and Collapse Agony without pity Numerous artists of the historic avant-garde are underrepresented at national exhibitions. Hannah Höch is one example, as well as George Grosz and a considerable number of Russian Constructivists. Until now Otto Dix was also among them. Now the Kunsthalle Krems, with its ambitious program for this year- despite cancelling the Birgit Jürgenssen retrospective - dedicated an extensive exhibition to Dix, with special emphasis on his late works. Dix is renowned for his war paintings as well as portraits of people with a low social status. His depictions of women are close to misogyny, and he robs his “harlots”, his “bawds” – first raped, then murdered - and his aged women of the rest of their dignity, and depicts them as nearly deceased. And he does not treat soldiers any better; they are shown speared, crippled, eaten away by worms. He once said “one has to be able to look at agony without wallowing in pity.” Dix presents his lifeless beings unmercifully – disgust stands in the way of sympathy. No one - not Grosz, not Beckman, not Schlichter - is as brutish as he is. In view of this panorama of the damned, his late works astonish all the more: Dix, stigmatized as degenerate by the National Socialists, painted hyper-realistic landscapes full of pathos in this time of inner emigration, which could be considered as metaphors on war and destruction. Later he devoted himself to the sacral genre, presenting himself as Saint Lucas, painting a Madonna. One does not find out much about these phases of his work – and even the catalogue does'nt offer much of an explanation. The articles in the catalogue emphasize his war paintings and realistic view – something that is contradictory to this comprehensive retrospective, which concentrates on the entire array of his creativity. But these inconsistencies make no difference to the fact that the exhibition fills a gap. By Nina Schedlmayer Kunsthalle Krems 3500 Krems, Franz-Zeller-Platz 3, until 12. 07. 09 www.kunsthalle.at

Kunsthalle Krems
3500 Krems, Franz-Zeller-Platz 3
Tel: +43-2732 90 80 10, Fax: +43-2732 90 80 11
Email: office@kunstalle.at
Öffnungszeiten: Di - So und Mo wenn Feiertag 10-18 Uhr; in den Wintermonaten 10-17 Uh

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