311011: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden New Objectivity in Dresden. Paintings of the 1920’s from Dix to Querner

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden New Objectivity in Dresden. Paintings of the 1920’s from Dix to Querner 01.10.11 – 08.01.12 Objective between left and right Kokoschka was here - he had only just recovered from his severe injuries and was still traumatized by his experience at the frontlines at Isonzo. The former Viennese Enfant Terrible – in panic at the thought of possibly being drafted again – travelled to Dresden via Berlin in 1916, hoping to stay and become professor at the Art Academy. In 1919 he was finally appointed – and the Master’s lectures on the “Abendakt”, the evening drawing classes, were extremely popular - mainly due to his amusing outbursts of rage. While Kokoschka invented a new method of applying paint by mixing the colours directly on the canvas with fig milk to attain a moving structure, a group of war veterans, who had returned home from the horrors they experienced, formed a new artists' movement. They were united in their attitude that it was impossible to continue working as usual after the atrocities they had experienced. In 1905, Expressionism was practically no longer existent in Dresden and Dadaism seemed a short-lived satisfaction for the progressive and politically committed young men. One of them, Otto Dix, later said the artists wanted to “see things very closely, almost without art.” The works by Dix and his colleagues, including Otto Griebel and Conrad Felixmüller, came across as cynical and shocking; and they often used painting techniques employed by the Old Masters. Their works depicted the reality of hunger, unemployment and prostitution. “New Objectivitiy”, was a term created by Gustav Hartlaub for an exhibition in 1925. Despite differentiating between the critical “Verists” and the more classicistic “right wing” or “magic realism” the term was unable to encompass all positions. Undoubtedly Dresden played an important role in this development but a scientific reappraisal was only possible after the German Unification. And this is the outcome of this exhibition curated by Birgit Dalbajewa, including the accompanying catalogue. Possibly this was the missing part for an extensive presentation of the phenomenon “New Objectivity”, which mirrors more of a life feeling, an attitude than a stylistic feature. And that reveals the actual dilemma: while the National Socialists prohibited Dix and his colleagues to paint, the right wing group was permitted to continue their work. After the founding of the GDR this art continued to be collected and new objectivity was now seen as socialist realism. It could well be that one or the other of the 80 artistic positions presented here are only interesting for the market owing to the intensive reappraisal, but by contrast, the scientific work is of immeasurable value for the overall image of New Objectivity in Germany. By Daniele Gregori Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden 01067 Dresden, Taschenberg 2 Tel: +49 (0)351 49 14 2000 Fax: +49 (0)351 49 14 2001 Email: info@skd-dresden.de Http://www.skd.museum Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 8 – 18 hours, Sat, Sun 10 – 18 hours

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
01067 Dresden, Taschenberg 2
Tel: +49 - (0)351 - 49 14 2000, Fax: +49 - (0)351 - 49 14 2001
Email: info@skd-dresden.de
Öffnungszeiten: Mo - Fr 08.00 - 18.00, Sa, So 10.00 - 18.00

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