Lot 224: Otto Dix, Weiblicher Halbakt, 1932
December 2, 2016
Cologne, GermanyLive Auction
Description: Monogrammed and dated 'DIX 1932' upper right.In his portraits Otto Dix probes his sitter's essence with a sharp gaze. His likenesses discard, stylise and aestheticise without any hint of sentimentality. They show the person through the eye of the artist. The present work from the early 1930s comes from a period in Dix's oeuvre that is defined by great creative power and in which the artist passionately dedicated his attention to the subject of the female nude. His multifaceted variations on this type of motive draw their strength from a unique combination of eroticism, frivolity and irony, and they culminate artistically in Dix's Old Master-like nude portrait of the years 1930 to 1933. Our half-length nude looking to the side with an emphatic nonchalance is also characterised by a largely classical formulation. Technically speaking, the soft red-chalk drawing heightened with white underscores the artist's aspiration: “A clear renunciation of the New Objectivity's succinct lines is palpable in the draughtsman's 'will to style' and his choice of traditional drawing techniques. Initially the pencil is succeeded primarily by red chalk, which is documented as an autonomous technique in Dix's work from 1927 onwards. Beyond that, all the stops were pulled in drawing's painterly valorisation: combinations of chalk and charcoal, pasteboard coated with colour and coloured papers, heightened accents in white body colour or chalk, ornamental lineation, flexible hatching, sweeps of the stump.” (Ulrike Lorenz, Werkwende zur Altmeisterlichkeit [1930-1933], in: Otto Dix, Das Werkverzeichnis der Zeichnungen und Pastelle, vol. III, Weimar 2003, p. 1373).
Condition Report: In excellent condition.
Notes: Droit de suite according to conditions of sale
Provenance: Private collection, Berlin
Dimensions: 58/57.5 x 47 cm
Artist or Maker: Otto Dix
Literature: Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Munich 24 May 1976, 17. Auktion 20. Jahrhundert, Lot 402 with illus., p. 46; Galerie Gerda Bassenge, Berlin 1.-6. November 1976, Auktion 28 Teil 1, Lot 1358, p. 220
Medium: Red chalk drawing, hightened with white gouache, on blue primed drawing card Framed under glass