The epic tale of the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse Printmaking Program. The Printmaking program is directed by Joel Elgin and features the odd collection of the many PrintFools who enroll, print and exist from semester to semester in the Shop of Tears.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Otto Dix’s Der Krieg &... The Great Returns

This week we take a field trip to the National Gallery of Australia.

Sturmtruppe geht unter Gas vor [Stormtroops advancing under a gas attack], plate 12 from Der Krieg
etching, aquatint, drypoint


Beware PRINTFOOLS, this is no vacation. Time to look at Otto Dix’s Der Krieg [War].
This is not for the weak but after three weeks of this class, none of you have a weakness left.
(Hit the title post up on top and read every word and study every print)

Verwundeter (Herbst 1916, Bapaume) [Wounded soldier - Autumn 1916, Bapaume], plate 6 from Der Krieg Intaglio etching, aquatint
printing plate 19.7 h x 29.0 w cm


DIX, Otto
Matrosen in Antwerpen [Sailors in Antwerp], plate 32 from Der Krieg Intaglio etching, aquatint, drypoint
printing plate 24.5 h x 30.0 w cm

Hey Baby printmakers! How do you suppose these prints were made? Stay tuned this week to learn.
Big week last week wasnt it? The highlight was the return of beloved alumni "Katherine the Great" who visited us from her home in
N.Y. at the Lower East Side Printshop,




31 comments:

Bec★ said...

otto dix has some pretty powerful prints. in the interview he talked about the intense psychological effects of war. i have read several books on the topic and its what i am focusing on this semester. its fascinating (but in a bad, twisted way.)

have a great oktoberfest printmakers!! dont be a printfool and be safe this weekend :)

katelyn said...

I agree with Becca. These are great, but really intense since they come from experience.

carly said...

his prints are very moving, especially after reading through his life story (whoa). in particular, the print of the wounded soldier makes the hair stand up on my back a little. if you enlarge it, you can't help but kinda cringe at the soldier's face. it's quite amazing how moving that print is.

Erin said...

I thought it was awesome to see some work from an artist who was in Dresden. I remember reading about that city while I was reading Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut...a whole city completely destroyed for no reason...no military operations going on there at all. Basically just art and innocent people. He's says he had to experience it to truly understand it, at least art gives us an idea of what it was like to be there.

Caitlin said...

i love his range of values. there seems to always be pure white in a lot of his prints, sometimes it's dominant and sometimes it's not. i like it.

beth said...

Wow.... i dig the otto. I wonder if he starts to feel sick from these images after awhile.. i can only work with this kind of content for a short while before it haunts me..

Good to see the great on the blog... three cheers for her coffee/mug contribution!!! Thanks the great!

Allison Bayer said...

speechless.

Nels said...

It's tough! I don't know who is harder to study - Goya or Otto Dix. They are both brutal, absolutely merciless in showing the true nature of war. There is a major difference in style. Goya is more clean, Otto Dix is a master of the aquatint. I like his use of using drawing techniques that are not totally true to life to help illustrate how wars deform the human psyche.

Meagan said...

Nighttime encounter with a madman gives off a very creepy feel, I'm guessing that what he was going for so he succeeded in that. His prints are very impressive. He has so many messages he gives through his work.

Jewels said...

I'm bummed I missed our visitor. Prolly could have learned a thing or two.. but i did learn last week that if your suppose to go to the doctor then go to the doctor. otherwise you get to have surgery. yay..ha ill be trying to catch up with everything for awhile! see ya

libbyhansen said...

Otto Dix' work leaves the viewer overwrought with emotion and inspiration. I was most interested in the work "Mealtime in the trenches". People do not take time to think about mealtime or sleeping conditions soldiers have to endure to survive the atrocities someone else in a safe comfy home has put them. People also forget that soldiers do not leave these atrocities behind them in the "trenches" when and if they come home. *Becca* I will be very interested in your prints this semester - they will be powerful.

On that note, I would like to share one example of the above mentioned. I will keep this short. My cousin was in Vietnam. He was the only to survive from his platoon (he was left for dead after being shot in the elbow he held over his face). He was also the one who was sent into foxholes to "clean" them out. Point of the story - his marriage could not survive the night after night of no sleep and paranoia - he would sit in the dark of the corner of the bedroom every night with a loaded gun waiting. I didn't even cover the pill dependency, blindness, and loss of use of arm. He not only paid, his family did as well.

Erica said...

dix has grotesque yet moving work...some of what people see are so real its hard to accept that it is a reality to an unfortunate amount of people in our world. his prints stir up emotion and he does so well displaying it.

Allison B said...

the otto dix work was pretty cool. its amazing how tazlented some individuals are.
Katherine the great was an amazing speaker. it is nice to know that people can actually achieve something inh the art field. Definitely inspiring. Keep 'em coming ogre.

Jumpy said...

His works are extremley powerful and influenced by his life experiences. They have a very dark quality to them which causes them to be very disturbing to the mind. Of course they are disturbing and show the effects of war, and an insight to his mind.

zoe said...

the images are clearly an intense and disturbing subject but to me the most interesting thing about them is that when i look at them I get the feeling that the person who made them is disturbed himself, not just making art about disturbing things

Lisa said...

I agree with Nels...Dix was a master of aquatint techniques [truly a vanquisher and ruler of the tears]. Very deliberate values; very effective.

I am moved by Dix's imagery...such heightened gesture and expression; truly remarkable.

Gorgeous prints in the upper 3rd floor gallery by Katherine the Great [KTG], Mary Haskins, BC, and other printshop beloved[s].

Mallory_Heesch said...

As soon as I started reading about Otto Dix and looking at his prints I ws immedietly reminded of Goya (and sure enough, they drew parallels between the two artists later in the reading)... but Dix's prints remind me more of Goya's PAINTINGS, not entirely of Goya's prints. The huge eyes and grotesque figure in "Wounded Soldier" reminds me of Goya's "Saturn Devouring his Children". Excellent example of aquatint for the babies!

Jillian said...

Seriously intense. The visceral detail in these images doesn't leave you quickly. The high contrast, gritty style he uses really adds to the content.

mingo said...

these prints are scary to me after you learn that they were from what he experienced and not just from stories that you hear.

Babies question-i have a feeling it could possibly be aquatinting...involving varnish and no asphaultum??

ellen said...

these are absolutely beautiful and stunning prints. i love the style, the detail, and most importantly, story behind them. prints like these are what i aspire to.

Mark K said...

It was weird to me that he wanted to experience all of this first hand to actually see with his own eyes what happens in war. His prints are amazing albeit very grim.

Sarah said...

I can't believe someone would want to go as far as volunteering for the army during war time to experience the war firsthand. Thats incredible and so are his prints. Like everyone said, the aquatinting and the value are both very well done, but when you look closer the line detail is amazing as well. These prints are super strong in both content and mechanics.
Otto's prints are striking and the images are really powerful especially the facial expression on the fallen soldier.

Michelle said...

In looking at Otto Dix's prints its amazing to think about the content. This man not only expresses his thoughts about the tradgedy of war but expresses his actual experience. I think this has so much more power. I saw a movie this summer called Stop Loss...about the current war in Iraq and it touched a lot on the post traumatic war and life as a soldier. These prints reminded me a lot of the movie.

mao said...

Otto Dix's images bring pain, rage, anger, sadness, everything because it speaks the truth about war, what he experienced himself. War causes ripples affects that does not end. When I look at the figures like the wounded soldier, I see a loss of soul. If you lose your soul, what do you have left? I absolutely agree with Otto on the statement that art is not only about the beautiful, it's about the ugliness too.

Bethany said...

Otto's prints are fantastic.

Last week was awesome, I wish I could have stayed longer though. Also I am way excited to see Barack tomorrow, it's going to be intense.

Shawn said...

brutal, powerful, and moving. i love very much!! this is right up my alley

Jen said...

i hate to repeat what everyone else has said, but there is no better way to put it, otto's prints are full of passion, and evoke so many feelings.

kirky b said...

wow, this may be some of the most disturbing and compelling work i have ever seen. I am fascinated not only by otto dix's prints but by his realist ideals. "I have to see everything with my own eyes in order to confirm that it’s like that. I have to experience all the ghastly, bottomless depths of life for myself.." unfortunately i don't know if i could ever put myself into a situation like he did.

DaniL said...

What a slacker I am! Jeez. Dix's prints are brutal and almost sickening in the way that they grab you straight from your guts to get your attention. That's what work that is expressing such atrocity needs to do, I think.

It would be interesting to do some kind of art therapy with recent veterans, just to see what kinds of images would come from people who don't necessarily have any kind of formal training in art but they have their experiences and raw emotions to express.

lachness said...

great to see you kate the great!! wow, otta dix, images that are so powerful you know he has personal connections to them. He has also mastered his line texture and intensity!!

britt luecke said...

these prints are awesome...really intense and have a lot of story behind them...i love the use of values and detail.