Page 8 - summer 22
P. 8

It is equally Modernist, though less technically innovative, more realist. Dix belonged
            to the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) group of artists. “We want to see things
            completely naked, clear, almost without art. I invented the New Objectivity.”
            Traditional portraiture flattered its subjects. But this is more savage and satirical,
            typical of Otto Dix’s ruthless and unflattering paintings of Weimar German society in

            the 1920’s, “life undiluted” he said. He encountered Sylvia in the street and declared,
            “I must paint you! I simply must! You are representative of an entire epoch!” “So, you
            want to paint my lacklustre eyes, my ornate ears, my long nose, my thin lips; you
            want to paint my long hands, my short legs, my big feet - things which can only scare
            people off and delight no-one?” “You have brilliantly characterized yourself, and all
            that will lead to a portrait representative of an epoch concerned not with the outward
            beauty of a woman but rather with her psychological condition.”

            Critic Christopher Jones says this painting communicates discord: the shrill clash of
            colours (strawberry-red dress and modern chequered design against the fuchsia-pink
            background wall); the splayed fingers of her hand resting on her thigh; her stockings
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