Cowart's Common Room
Otto Dix or not toeing the line..

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Firstly I apologise for the thrown together quality of this piece its a trifle hectic here today but here for @themill by special request is an arty bit...

It being the week of the armistice last week we were talking about how war changes peoples lives and particulary how the first and second world wars effected people both in France and Germany. Its maize harvest here at the moment and youngest was talking about how pre mechanisation, which here in Brittany wasn't until the 1960,s everything would have to be done by hand and how few hands there would have been to do the work after the wars devastated the Breton population. This led on to life and art in general and how this was effected and hence art and artists, and the whole idea of tolerance and standing up for what yuo think... well its a long drive to Lycee there and back so plenty of time for conversation. And this how we got on to the great German Expressionist ,Otto Dix.

Born in Germany in 1891 the son of an a foundry worker he studied art at the Dresden School or Art but at the out break of war he joined up and fought for his country as a brave and much decorated soldier ,seriously wounded several times and a survivor some of the most atroucios battles . He was a real war hero and a model of patritotism, if he'd been British he'd ahve been at the Cenotarph. Its easy to forget the Germans had Heros too, after all a Hero nothing in the dictionairy definition says hero's have to be on the winning side.

The horror he experienced showed through in his art ( see his famous etching of storm troopers advancing under gas as an example) and he became more and more critical of the depravity of German Weimar Republic and the forgotten survivors of the great war. His art threw a spotlight on more sordid and depressing sides of life in Germany at the time, the bleakness of old age, the violence and the prostituion. A guaranteed way to get up the Governments noses if ever there was one.Under Hitler and the Nazi regime he was declared "entartete Kunst" or degenerate artist and his work was burnt as Un German.Of course he wasnt alone as most art and artists of the modernist styles were prohibited and only narrow traditional styles of art were allowed, those which trumpeted the values of racial purity. Toe the line or be destroyed being the general message. He was conscripted into the German home guard and captured by the French who released him at the end of the war. Today his surviving work is much acclaimed, the the New York Met gave him star billing in thier exhibition of the Cabaret Era art of the 1920's and many German Museums now hold example sof his works in thier collections.

So there you go ,I give you a potted history of Otto Dix as a reminder that ,although it is easier to toe the line and pretend to believe what everyone else pretends to like, it is sometimes its better ,in the long run , to stand out from the crowd and be yourself whatever the risks involved.The painting above was finished in 1924 it is one of his least controversial works and hopefully will soothe Pipany who is apparently feeling tired and scratchy looking after her no doubt tired and scratchy infant and didn't want an image of a screaming baby!

If you want to see more of his art go to this site.

Posted at 18th Nov 2008 - 01:04PM   Posted by Unpeuloufoque   Otto Dix or not toeing the line.. Comments: 26

Fennie's Avatar Berlimey, but that was quick. Thanks UPL. I have learned something.

Posted by: Fennie on 18th Nov 2008 at 01:41PM

Frances's Avatar Merci! I don't think that I have before seen that Dix picture, but I immediately knew it was his. And also immediately knew that you'd written something to go with it.

Yes, sticking with the party line is always seemingly easy, but worth evaluating. Right now, we are watching the goings on after our Big Election, and wondering, wondering. Well, at least some of my friends and I are already wondering.


Posted by: Frances on 18th Nov 2008 at 03:58PM

Wonderful UPL. Food for the old brain cells.....Thank youVery Happy

Posted by: @themill on 18th Nov 2008 at 04:15PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Thank you Un Peu - perhaps we should have an Art section in the Forum and you could put these there as well so that they don't sink into the archives as quickly.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 18th Nov 2008 at 05:02PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Art section great idea....often don't have time to reflect on these as much as would like.
Scary baby! Very Happy

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 18th Nov 2008 at 05:05PM

Agree an art section would be great, but it's also rather fun having grown up images in the CR..

Posted by: @themill on 18th Nov 2008 at 05:41PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Ah but why not do both . . . win, win.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 18th Nov 2008 at 05:43PM

Unpeuloufoque's Avatar Tell you what, you can copy and post them into an art section on the forums if you want and I shall carry on regardless posting them on here as and when the mood ( or bossy @tm !) takes me! That way both WW and @tm get there wish. Francis did you see the Met expo? Wish I had. They exhibited Rudolf Schlecter at the same time and it must have been an impressive show. Fascinated by the diversity of Dix's images of people.

Posted by: Unpeuloufoque on 18th Nov 2008 at 07:06PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Just a suggestion - happy to set up an art forum - but would leave the copying pasting to you.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 18th Nov 2008 at 07:12PM

Snailbeachshepherdess's Avatar Desperate plea here - have always been a fan of UPL's art history and loved the days when on the old CCW site there would be one every day bright and early ,,,now I appreciate that things have moved on and UPL has other fish to fry or tiles to paint etc but they give the common room page a touch of pzzazzz that would be so lost in a forum. I peep in through the day from work and sometimes there is little to read on the CR but today - WOW!
Thank you UPL- much appreciated

Posted by: Snailbeachshepherdess on 18th Nov 2008 at 08:47PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Gawd I am being misunderstood here . . . all I was suggesting that AS WELL as having this in the Common Room as often as UPL can do it - we ALSO have an Art Forum . That way we can read the art post in the Common Room on the day that it is put up and it will be there in the Forum AS WELL where the artists will be in a list rather than jumbled up with other posts should you wish to access it in the future. Savvy as Captain Jack Sparrow would say . . .Very Happy

I was NOT suggesting that UPL's art lessons be moved from the Common Room to the Forum.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 18th Nov 2008 at 09:00PM

Snailbeachshepherdess's Avatar Look out WW is using capital letters - always a bad signRolling Eyes slaps about to be administered and looks like I am first in the queue

Posted by: Snailbeachshepherdess on 18th Nov 2008 at 09:10PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Waves chainsaw . . . looks pointedly at the naughty corner . . . Laughing

Posted by: Westerwitch on 18th Nov 2008 at 10:39PM

Snailbeachshepherdess's Avatar Why? is Bodran in there? I cant find her anywhere these days!

Posted by: Snailbeachshepherdess on 18th Nov 2008 at 11:12PM

Westerwitch's Avatar If she is she is buried under all the pizza boxes and plastic bottles . . . lets stare and see if anything moves . . . Shocked

Posted by: Westerwitch on 19th Nov 2008 at 12:16AM

Camilla's Avatar Thank you Un Peu, that is wonderful. I think Westerwitch's idea of maybe having Art section in the Forums by you is brilliant idea.


Posted by: Camilla on 19th Nov 2008 at 02:08AM

Pondside's Avatar What a treat to log on and find this art tutorial. I'd just been thinking that there hadn't been a lot in the common room lately - and then in the space of two days were a photo from Blossom and an art tutorial from UPL - made this travelling Coo-er very happy, indeed!!!

Posted by: Pondside on 19th Nov 2008 at 03:17AM

Grouse's Avatar As you know, I rarely venture as far as forums, so yes- brilliant suprise to find some thig as interesting as this on the CR page! Thanks, UP! Now must look for lossom's photo.....

Posted by: Grouse on 19th Nov 2008 at 07:30AM

SallysChateau's Avatar V interesting UP, yes I agree about keeping it in the common room, I too sometimes dash in but don't look at the forums, anyway it brightens up the walls don't you think ?

Posted by: SallysChateau on 19th Nov 2008 at 11:22AM

Westerwitch's Avatar Rolling Eyes There was NEVER any suggestion of taking it out of the Common Room . . . more capitals . . .

Posted by: Westerwitch on 19th Nov 2008 at 01:23PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Seems like the consensus would prefer it just in the Common Room. Not quite sure why the idea of it being both here and on a forum doesn't work but hey....whatever.....


Still think that child is scary!Very Happy

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 19th Nov 2008 at 02:14PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Shame we could have had a forum just devoted to UPL's teachings still if no-one wants it less work for me Very Happy

Posted by: Westerwitch on 19th Nov 2008 at 02:22PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Yes that child is very scary . . .

Oh and the Forum would have been AS WELL AS the Common Room . . . although I am sure I am invisible at the moment.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 19th Nov 2008 at 02:29PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Who? What? Where?
Nah, only kidding, can see you very clearly WW.
But think you're going deaf, m'dear - they DON'T WANT A FORUM FOR UPL - JUST THE COMMON ROOM POST. Get it?! Very Happy

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 19th Nov 2008 at 02:39PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Retires to naughty corner, for yelling......Wink

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 19th Nov 2008 at 02:40PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Rolling Eyes

Posted by: Westerwitch on 19th Nov 2008 at 03:15PM

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