Otto Dix. The street of Prague. (1920). Expressionnism.
The street of Prague is the principal artery of Dresden, city of the East of Germany, on Elba, capital of Saxony, near the border with the Czech Republic.
Otto Dix lived a long time in Dresden where he was professor with the Academy until 1933. As from 1920, Otto Dix takes part in the exposures of the Secession of Dresden, and adheres to the group Dada (First International exhibition Dada, 1920). It uses reasons and violent colors. In its paintings and its joinings. It describes contemporary social reality and the consequences of the 1st world war and especially the loss of the dignity of the men wounded with the face like here, and also in the The Matches Seller.1921. (See the similar button ). The central figure of this crippled man is terrible. Otto Dix took part in the war of 14 - 18 it represented much in its works (Triptych the War). It feels what felt of the million human beings, during the war the man becomes a toy, a puppet and it is precisely what this war veteran in the center evokes a dislocated puppet. But the artist goes the hand further from a passer by in the foreground is also illustrated as being in of wood. The little girl in front of the window resembles a headstock. In the window of the wigs of the prostheses the man lost his human dimension in front of the war it remains an object. He is denied and it any more but does not remain to him to show and denounce. It is what the artist does as the corpse hung with the tree did it which pointed finger carnage in the triptych of the war. In the newspaper he is written: “Jews outside”. Dix perceives already in the anti-semitism, the future skids, the rancour and the hatred which will lead to the second world war. Dix did not have a chance with the war it took part in both. And the town of Dresden either. In the night from February 13rd to 14th 1945, the bombs released by 800 allied bombers make 35.000 dead and destroyed 80% of the city without nobody knowing too much why. As Hamburg Dresden undoubtedly paid for the devastations of V1 and V2 on London. Dresden is mainly rebuilt after the Second world war.
The eye is immediately attracted by this strange silhouette in the center. The point of view of the spectator is located on his face which seems blind. It is only then that the spectator becomes aware of the window and the pavement and owing to the fact that the character in the foreground is represented in short cut from the astonishing point of view.
The 2 war veterans are out of the 4 natural points of interest.
1/3 of pictorial space for the window and the wall. 2/3 for the pavement.
Although the characters are in not very enviable situations the painting is built on the ascending diagonal. It is a paradox because normally the diagonal which would be appropriate is the downward diagonal which induces the idea of fall and forfeiture. The painter seems to want to disorientate the eye of the spectator and to put it in imbalance. This emotion well is felt if the painting a long time is fixed. The position of the man in the center is not normal nor natural, it resembles at a dislocated puppet. The angle of its head with its body is unreal. Mutilated in the foreground must normally fall and cannot circulate thus. The artist wants to induce a giddiness space to translate the emotional disorder. The painting causes a faintness quickly.
The hand of the passer by is it also out of wood !
The war dehumanizes the society. The newspaper declares: “Jews outside! ”, this announces the next war.
How to hold upright with legs in this position ? It is only possible if it is about an object thus of a headstock.
The man trunk is decorated with the Military Cross. He must normally fall behind and cannot circulate in this uncomfortable position.
With 4 members out of wooden this man is closer to the puppet than of the human being. The angle of its head with its body lets it seem completely dislocated. Otto Dix declared: “ I had the feeling, by seeing the pictures painted up to that point, that a side of reality was not represented yet, namely the ugliness ”. The Artist knows exactly what it does.
Work is enlightened left.
Colors : Contrast between hot and cold, complementary colors.
Similar Paintings :
Otto Dix : The War. (1929-32). Triptych.
Otto Dix. Players of Skat. 1920.
Otto Dix : The Matches Seller. 1921.