Otto Dix

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Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix (German pronunciation: [ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈhaɪnʁiç ˈɔto ˈdɪks]; 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit.



Early life and education

Otto Dix was born in Untermhaus, Germany, now a part of the city of Gera. The eldest son of Franz and Louise Dix, an iron foundry worker and a seamstress who had written poetry in her youth, he was exposed to art from an early age. The hours he spent in the studio of his cousin, Fritz Amann, who was a painter, were decisive in forming young Otto's ambition to be an artist; he received additional encouragement from his primary school teacher.[1] Between 1906 and 1910, he served an apprenticeship with painter Carl Senff, and began painting his first landscapes. In 1910, he entered the Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden (Academy of Applied Arts), where Richard Guhr was among his teachers.

World War I service

When the First World War erupted, Dix enthusiastically volunteered for the German Army. He was assigned to a field artillery regiment in Dresden. In the fall of 1915 he was assigned as a non-commissioned officer of a machine-gun unit in the Western front and took part of the Battle of the Somme. In November 1917, his unit was transferred to the Eastern front until the end of hostilities with Russia, and in February 1918 he was stationed in Flanders. In August of that year he was wounded in the neck, and shortly after he took pilot training lessons. He was discharged of service in December 1918.[2] Back in the western front, he fought in the German Spring offensive. He earned the Iron Cross (second class) and reached the rank of vizefeldwebel.

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