The Deichtorhallen Hamburg present a major exhibition on Otto Dix (1891-1969) and his influence on art up to the present day. For the first time, Dix's oeuvre from the time of the Nazi dictatorship will be comprehensively presented, a time when some of his works were considered "degenerate. The focus is on the artistic effects of political censorship, conformity, and political iconography with reference to contemporary art.
On the one hand, the exhibition makes visible the changes in cultural and social omens in the reception of Dix's oeuvre, but also shows the great fascination that his work exerts on around 50 of the most renowned contemporary artists* worldwide. The selected artists include Georg Baselitz, John Currin, Lucian Freud, Alice Neel, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, and Kara Walker.
The first focus of the exhibition, curated by Dr. Ina Jessen, concentrates on Dix's only supposedly apolitical work from the Nazi era. Starting from Otto Dix's (1891-1969) radical and provocative works of the 1920s, which are still popular today, an oeuvre emerged from 1933 onwards that was far less offensively sociocritical in its pictorial language: the previously striking images of society transformed after 1933 into partly subversive, partly subtle forms of contemporary criticism. Instead of war scenarios and socio-critical milieus, there were primarily landscape depictions, commissioned portraits and, from 1937, Christian allegorical motifs.
Otto Dix's work, created during the Nazi era, has so far occupied a secondary position in the exhibition and research landscape. The exhibition DIX UND DIE GEGENWART addresses this gap. In order to grasp Dix's landscapes, portraits and Christian subjects in the context of his time, the exhibition places the painter, his work and his professional career in the artistic and political context of the Weimar Republic, National Socialism and the period shortly after the end of the war.
The second focus of the exhibition as well as the catalog concentrates on the artistic reception of Otto Dix in terms of subjects, political iconography, style, technique and genre.
The curator of the exhibition is Dr. Ina Jessen. With her expertise, the project is also based on her profound knowledge of Otto Dix during the Nazi era. The concept of the exhibition is based on Dr. Ina Jessen's research and doctorate (De Gruyter, 2022) and examines artistic upheavals that are causally rooted in prevailing state and socio-political developments.
Artists in the exhibition
Marina Abramović, Kader Attia, Ernie Barnes, Yael Bartana, Georg Baselitz, Monica Bonvicini, Marc Brandenburg, Thorsten Brinkmann, Glenn Brown, John Currin, Tacita Dean, Otto Dix, Martin Eder, Nicole Eisenman, Zeng Fanzhi, Lucien Freud, Falk Gernegroß, Adrien Ghenie, Nan Goldin, Simone Haack, Kati Heck, Almut Heise, Simin Jalilian, Anselm Kiefer, York der Knoefel, Friedrich Kunath, Stéphane Mandelbaum, Esko Mannikkö & Pekka Turunen, Paul McCarthy, Bod Mellor, Gianni Motti, Ron Mueck, Alice Neel, Meriele Neudecker, Catherine Opie, Nicolas Party, Grayson Perry, Juan Miguel Pozo, Paula Rego, Faith Ringgold, Julian Rosefeldt, Anne Laure Sacriste, Cindy Sherman, Katharina Sieverding, Zandile Tshabalala, Werner Tübke, Kara Walker, Martin Weinhold, Tsai Yi-Ting, Tobias Zielony, Miron Zownir.