Otto Dix
Art and War

08.08.2014 – 04.01.2015

The First World War changed the socio-political structure of Europe irretrievably overnight. Modern research reckons that approximately 70 million soldiers were in action, and one in eight paid for it with his death.

 The war was therefore an enormous bloodletting of a whole generation. The survivors returned from their tour of duty traumatised and disillusioned to a homeland that was no longer the same as the one they had left.

Countless artists, who in some cases had been drawn into the war, which was considered as inevitable, with utopian expectations and full of joy, shared the traumatising experiences with other soldiers, and afterwards often came to terms with these experiences in their art works. The series Der Krieg (The War) by Otto Dix is only one of the best known examples.

As this year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War, the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen is showing this outstanding portfolio of Otto Dix for the first time since 2006, comparing it with the graphic works and drawings of lesser known artists, such as Otto Wirsching, Erich Gruner, Oscar Graf, and Elfriede (pseudonym Erich) Thum.

To illustrate the interplay between art and applied pictorial worlds, a selection of posters, advertisements, postcards and other propaganda material from this time is also being exhibited alongside the art works.

The aim of the exhibition is to portray a picture of the time that brings out the desires and longings, as well as the disillusionment and traumatisation, of the combatants as reflected in the artistic movements and tendencies.



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