Two Print Portfolios— Der Krieg (War) by Dix and Die Hölle (Hell) by Beckmann—on View Together in their Entirety for the First Time
NEW YORK (April 26, 2005)—On June 24, 2005, the Neue Galerie opens "War/Hell: Master Prints by Otto Dix and Max Beckmann," an exhibition of two of the greatest German print portfolios of the twentieth century. Both series depict the horrors witnessed by the artists during World War I, and have never been shown together. These images take on a renewed resonance in the face of ongoing military actions across the globe. The exhibition will be on view through September 26, 2005.
Der Krieg (War) by Otto Dix comprises a portfolio of fifty prints published in 1924. Dix had spent more than four years in the trenches during the war, and he conveyed his own experiences–ruined landscapes, destroyed bodies, and terrifying bombardments–in unsparing detail. Despite their disturbing subject matter, the prints are brilliantly realized works of art. Dix employed a wide variety of graphic methods to superb effect, making Der Krieg both a bracing social critique and a masterful aesthetic achievement.
Die Hölle (Hell) by Max Beckmann comprises a series of twelve large-format lithographs printed in 1919. Beckmann spent a year in the German army medical corps, but was discharged for health reasons. In these prints, the artist combines sharp observation of the brutality of war with a larger, pessimistic meditation on human nature. Strong traces of his mature style are evident throughout, from the Cubist rendering of space to the implicit critique in his depiction of the striking contrasts between wealth and poverty.
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