Otto DIXVERLAG KARL NIERENDORF, Granattrichter mit Blumen (Fruhling 1916)  [Bomb-crater with flowers - Spring 1916], plate 24 from Der Krieg Enlarge 1 /1

Otto DIX

Germany 1891 – 1969


  • Switzerland


publisher (organisation)

Granattrichter mit Blumen (Fruhling 1916) [Bomb-crater with flowers - Spring 1916], plate 24 from Der Krieg Description: plate 24 from the portfolio Der Krieg [War], a portfolio of 50 prints in 5 parts, plus 1 additional print
Place made: Berlin, Germany
Materials & Technique: prints, Intaglio etching and drypoint, printed in black ink. Support: BSB-Maschinen-Butten
Manufacturer's Mark: BSB
Edition: ed 58/70
Place Published: Berlin
Date Published: 1924

Edition Notes: printed by Kupferdruckerei O. Felsing, Charlottenburg, Berlin
Primary Insc: l.l.c- 58/70; l.c- IV; l.r.c - signed in pencil by the artist
Dimensions: plate 14.8 h x 19.8 w cm sheet 35.3 h x 47.5 w cm
Acknowledgement: The Poynton Bequest 2003
Accession No: NGA 2003.352.24
Subject: Art style: Expressionism
Image rights: © Otto Dix. Licensed by Viscopy

Shortly before he died Otto Dix qualified his earlier statements: 'I was not really seeking to depict ugliness. Everything I saw was beautiful'. By this definition, all lines, textures, tones, shapes and compositions are in some sense beautiful. So a deliberately jagged scrawl may be found to have left an eye-catching graininess in the fibrous texture of the paper, and a vicious series of jabs may impress with its sincerity. Perhaps it is easier to see this beauty when the content is repulsive, when the pushing away of ugly content is in tension with the pulling in of pleasing form. It is natural to feel ambivalent about this, and to question whether we should be seeing beauty in Dix's horrific prints. Is an aesthetic response appropriate when the subject is the First World War? How can we take pleasure in the depiction of suffering and wholesale carnage?

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra