Euopean Art in the Wake of World War 1

Topics: New Objectivity, George Grosz, Expressionism Pages: 3 (1000 words) Published: March 1, 2006
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 Grosz's 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 skeleton's face very similar to the gold-rimmed glasses Grosz wore, suggest he based this scene on his experience. In Grosz's 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...
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