Otto Dix's Schadel

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Throughout history, methods of art have gone through periodic changes also known as ‘artistic revolutions’. Artistic eras have come to an end to be replaced by new movements that are remarkably different and reflect the socio-cultural contexts within each new era. The role of art has been to instantaneously express values from the current milieu while also offering criticism, balance, or alternatives to any values that are proving no longer valid. As times change, art changes. If changes were abrupt they were deemed revolutionary. Such an artist that has foregrounded issues that he has personally experienced that could be deemed as ‘revolutionary’ art is Otto Dix. Otto Dix who was a German painter and printmaker best known for his exceptional…show more content…
The artwork has a very sinister and macabre tone which is potentially a quintessential example of the horrific reality that Dix was exposed to in the war. The heavy, yet subtle shading that pays attention to detail, especially around the eyes, brings to life the realism of this particular style of etching. The small, detailed lines and the use of black and white is a simple but sophisticated way to effectively draw viewers’ attention to the harsh reality about death in war. The perception and perspective that viewers may have when seeing this artwork is that they see the skull in the eyes of another fallen soldier. The angle at which Dix has positioned this skull could be interpreted as the sight that another fallen soldier has as he witnessed his own fate as a casualty of…show more content…
The men seem to be warped and unrealistic as if the mind of the person seeing them had been infected with gas and warped to see ghoulish nightmares charging towards them. Dix’s use of tone in this artwork is also sinister and macabre however; the subject of this particular artwork has an ungodly and forsaken feeling. The substantial use of heavy shading represents the overwhelming clouds of gas that surrounded and suffocated the soldiers during war. Tiny detailed lines within the face and eyes of the masks as well as on the soldier’s uniforms gives the image a sense of depth. The stark white masks foregrounded against the black and grey background draws viewers’ attention to the faces of the

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