Sale: 415 / Modern Art, June 06. 2014 in Munich Lot 359

 
359
Otto Dix
Hamburger Kneipe, 1922.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 60,000 / $ 66,000
Sold:
€ 80,520 / $ 88.572

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Hamburger Kneipe. 1922.
Watercolor, oil pastel, pencil and color pen.
Pfäffle A 1922/107. Signed, dated and inscribed "171" lower right. Verso with title. On paper, each edge perforated. 48,9 x 36,8 cm (19,2 x 14,4 in), the full sheet. [KP/JS].

The socio-critical works from the 1920s are among the artist's most sought-after works on the international auction market.
We are grateful to Rainer Pfefferkorn, Otto Dix Archive, for his kind support in cataloging this lot.

PROVENANCE: Formerly collection Dr. Heinrich Stinnes.
Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, 12th auction, Munich 1974, cat. no. 424, with illu on p. 68.
Galerie Achim Moeller, London 1986.
Private collection Baden-Württemberg.
Private collection Northern Germany.

Otto Dix was born on 2 December 1891 and grew up with three younger siblings in a socially democratic-thinking family on the outskirts of the residence city Gera. After an apprenticeship as a decorative painter and studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Dresden Dix' training was interrupted by the First World War. He spent four years as a soldier in France, Flanders and Russia. After the war he continued his studies at the Kunstakademie in Dresden and was one of the co-founders and central figures of the 'Dresdner Sezession - Gruppe 1919'. In autumn 1922 Dix moved to Düsseldorf and became Heinrich Nauen's and Wilhelm Herberholz's master pupil. The war experiences triggered his scathingly critical pictures like e.g. 'Der Schützengraben' (1923), which caused an art scandal with two other pictures. The same year Otto Dix started the etching-cycle 'Der Krieg' as climax and end of his graphic ½uvre.

Besides the terrors of war, issues such as struggle, death, injury and transcience were in Dix's focus after the war - just as it is the case with this work. With a very own veristically exaggerated Realism he increases the depth of human sexuality and instincts. He became a critical chronicler of a society that had become out of whack through World War I. He declared the dark sides of human existence, the omnipresent financial dire straits and the respective lack of prospects subjects of his art. Entirely without a cautionary undertone, Dix did not only create impressive visual documents of his days, but also works of a special relevance for art history, executed with a sure stroke of the brush and an unadorned perspective onto reality.

After expressionistic and dadaistic beginnings Dix turned to the New Objectivity in 1922, moved to Berlin in 1925 and became the most distinguished portrait painter of the bohemia in Berlin and the intellectual society of the Weimar Republic. In 1927 he was appointed professor at the Dresden Akademie, but was dismissed again in 1933 and was finally no longer permitted to exhibit his works as an 'unwanted artist'. Dix then moved to Randegg near Singen and three years later to Hemmenhofen on Lake of Constance. In 1945 the artist was drafted into the 'Volkssturm' and was captured by the French in Colmar. After the war annual stays in Dresden, the membership at the academies in Berlin-Dahlem and East-Berlin led to a continuing shuttling over the frontier and between two state arts. Dix' trips to Southern France, Italy and Greece were enriched in 1962 by a study stay at the Villa Massimo in Rome and two years later by the membership of honour of the Accademia delle arte del disegno in Florence. Since 1950 there was a thematical and stylistic change in his late works, which led from the urban culture to bucolism, from the polemically realistic to the carefree-expressionistic. Dix was still interested in portraits, but religious subjects and landscapes also played a dominant role. Otto Dix is counted among the most important German artists of the 20th century. His work mirrors in its lively changeability the caesurae of the century, without abstraction, which was dismissed and criticised by Dix up to a great age.

359
Otto Dix
Hamburger Kneipe, 1922.
Watercolor
Estimate:
€ 60,000 / $ 66,000
Sold:
€ 80,520 / $ 88.572

(incl. 22% surcharge)