Otto Dix "The Triumph of Death" Allegorical painting, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany 1934 via
Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix – German: [ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈhaɪnʁiç ˈɔto ˈdɪks]; 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969)
Otto Dix was born into a family of workers-metallurgists, studied at the Dresden Art Academy and was influenced by the most powerful current German avant gard-expressionism. When the First World War began, he took with him the Bible and Friedrich Nietzsche and enthusiastically volunteered to go to the war against the French/English/Russian contingent-where he fought heavily in all the war on both fronts. He was wounded several times, and turned to art. He was a Sergeant and got the Iron Cross. In general, Dix succeeded-everything he wanted to see and experience, he saw and experienced. The possibilities for this were overwhelming participating in principal massacres at Flanders, in Somme and in Champagne. And he drew what he experienced through the whole war. When his long field trip to Hell ended, he had about 600 drawings, from which he made 50 sheets into the Graphic series "War". Ironically when the Nazis came to power in Germany in WWII, they regarded Dix as a degenerate artist and had him sacked from his post as an art teacher at the Dresden Academy. Since 1991, the 100th anniversary of Dix's birth, the 18th-century house where he was born and grew up, at Mohrenplatz 4 in the city of Gera, has been open to the public as a museum and art gallery. wiki
Just as T. S. Eliot was fabricating his mythical Waste Land in 1922 in the aftermath of World War I -- and the desolation that he felt was the inner truth of the roaring ‘20s and modern society in general -- Dix was depicting the wasteland of the actual war in his own peculiarly mythologizing, outrageous, uncannily realistic way.
Otto Dix was first and foremost a critic of capitalism -- a fact obscured by the bullshitting of his art by Hollywood, that is, the dumbing of it down into entertainment backdrops in such films as Cabaret, more pointedly, the neutralizing and kitschifying of its critical content by its assimilation into the society of the spectacle we culturally inhabit. It is the trivializing fate that Hollywood reserves especially for artists who are critical of everything it stands for: the military-industrial complex it serves. The military-industrial-entertainment complex controls consciousness, and it is determined to control -- by treating as comic farce, ridiculing as absurd mischief -- any consciousness that threatens it by reminding it of its tragic flaws and its own absurdity.
By turning it into facile, entertainment, cheapens it as society took its revenge on Dix’s art, as it did on Toulouse-Lautrec’s art in Moulin Rouge and various films about his life. Society’s critical, self-conflicted, disturbed state of masturbating modernity. interesting essay on dix's social influence