Euopean Art In The Wake Of World War 1
Essay Preview: Euopean Art In The Wake Of World War 1
Report this essay
European Art in the Wake of World War I
The New Objectivity, or Die Neue Sachlichkeit, was an Expressionist movement founded in Germany in the aftermath of World War I. The chief painters of the movement were George Grosz and Otto Dix, who were sometimes called verists. They created style of bitter realism and protest the disillusionment following the war. New Objectivity retained the intense emotionality of earlier movements in German art. Max Beckmann produced works in related, though more vein. Also the impact of the war influenced Kathe Kollwitz.
George Grosz studied art in Dresden and Berlin where he began contributing cartoon to German journals. On the outbreak of the First World War Grosz was conscripted in the German Army. In 1917, Grosz joined with John Heartfield in protesting about the German wartime propaganda campaign against the allies. This included anti-war drawing such as Fit for Active Service (1918). This particular related to Groszs personal experience where he was on the verge of a nervous break-down in 1917. He was sent to a sanatorium where doctors examined him and declared him “fit for service.” In this biting and sarcastic drawing, an army doctor proclaims the skeleton before him “fit for service.” The glasses perched on the skeletons face very similar to the gold-rimmed glasses Grosz wore, suggest he based this scene on his experience. In Groszs line drawing he sarcastically portrays the German War.
Otto Dix, who was closely associated with Neue Sachlihkeit, embraced war imagery. Having served both a machine gunner and an aerial observer, he was well acquainted with war effects. He later began dealing with other social messages, depicting beggars, prostitutes and veterans in his paintings. Outraged by the Weimar Republic and the Nazis, Dix began to criticize their politics in his work, and was therefore deemed as a degenerate and forced to resign from his teaching position.
On an interview, Otto Dix explained: “As a young man you dont notice at all that you were, after all, body affected. For years afterwards, at least ten years, I kept getting these dreams, in which I had to crawl through ruined houses along passages I could get through. Not that painting would have been a release. The reason for doing it is the desire to create. Ive got to do it! Ive seen that, I can still remember it, Ive got to paint it.” In Otto painting Der Krieg (The War) captured the devastation that war inflicts, both on the terrain and on humans. In the left panel, armed and uniformed soldiers march off into the distance. Dix graphically displays the horrific results in the center and right panels, where mangled bodies, are scattered throughout the apocalyptic landscape. It was to emphasize the personal nature of this scene. The artist painted himself into the right panel as the ghostly but determined soldier who drags a comrade to safety. In the bottom panel, in a coffin like bunker, lie soldier asleepÐ–or perhaps dead. Dix significantly presents this sequence of images in a triptych format. Dix, like his fellow Neue Scahlichkeit artist, felt compelled to lay the realities of his time, which the wars violence dominated.
Max Beckmann work also emphasized the horrors of war and a society he saw descending into madness. Between 1905 and 1950 he created more than eight hundred painting and produced hundreds of prints and drawings. Night, was a painting that showed a disturbing view of society. It depicts a cramped room three intruders have forcefully