In Nazi Germany, Otto Dix was assigned to representatives of the so-called. "Degenerate art". He left for the village, where he secretly painted landscapes. In 1923, the artist was charged with pornography, and only the intervention of the President of the Berlin Academy of Arts Max Lieberman saved him from trial.
In the last months of World War II, Otto Dix was drafted into the Volkssturm. At the end of the war he was captured by French troops; in February 1946 he was released.
Otto Dix lived in the years when Germany represented two states: Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) and the German Democratic Republic. Both in Germany and in the GDR, the artist was treated with great respect. Although he lived mainly in the FRG, he visited the GDR several times, and in Dresden he had a workshop at Kesselsdorfer Strasse 11.
On the share of Otto Dix both world wars fell. No other German artist has depicted the hell of these wars as he did. The theme of the war became one of the most popular for the artist - more than a hundred of his works was devoted to war, and indeed, the war slips in all of his paintings, even if not directly, then indirectly. Dix became one of the first artists who responded to world wars.
Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix was born in 1891 in the town of Unterhaus, in a working family: his father was a caster at the factory, his mother was a seamstress. Since childhood, Otto has exhibited an extraordinary propensity for drawing. From 1905 to 1909 he studied as an artist-designer, then, receiving a grant, entered the Dresden Academy of Arts, where he studied from 1910 to 1914. During his studies he visited the cities of Europe, where he got acquainted with the works of artists collected in museums. At that time the Italian and Dutch masters of the Early Renaissance had a special influence on him.
In 1914, Otto Dix went volunteer to the front. These are documentary evidence, carried out directly "in flagrante", on the site of events. It was these materials that formed the basis of his striking graphic cycle "War", which was published in Berlin in 1924 by Karl Niirendorf. These works, executed in the style of expressionism, well convey the artist's understanding of what happened in the world, the war is depicted not so much as a concrete social action, but as a terrible element, cataclysm, and fuss. This graphic cycle of Dix was shocking to the public. His expressionism was really expressive, his works were screaming in pain.
The advent of Hitler to power puts an end to the career of Otto Dix. At first the Nazis considered that the artist's work partly falls within the framework of the official aesthetics of National Socialism, but in 1933 Dix was expelled from the Dresden Academy. The document said: "Your paintings represent the greatest insult to the sense of morality and, therefore, are a threat to the moral revival of the nation."