Otto Dix - Zwei Kinder im Garten mit Sonnenblumen (Marcella und Nana)
Zwei Kinder im Garten mit Sonnenblumen (Marcella und Nana)
Oil on plywood panel 59.7 x 68.8 cm Framed. With the artist's signum and dated '65' in brown lower right. - In fine condition with vibrant colours. Slight frame-related rubbing to lower edge.
The final paintings of Otto Dix include several cheerful, boldly colourful likenesses of children. The double portrait presented here features his granddaughters Marcella and Nana in the garden. Created in 1965, the painter evidently held it in particular regard, translating the motif into the well-known colour lithograph “Zwei Kinder (mit Sonnenblume)” (Karsch 309) in the following year.
Both the joy found in colour and the semi-abstract articulation of the painting's forms as well as the rediscovery of lithography, realised in large and luminous sheets, are typical of the artist's late work. He himself had summarily described the transformation from his wash technique to an “à la prima” painting in the 1940s: spontaneity, no more meticulous articulation of details, no calculating and formalising “ideal composition”, no space, but an explicit new primacy of colour - these factors now define his work on the basis of a radically altered artistic perception. It is particularly the chromatic element in itself which becomes dominant: “The colours begin to form 'chords'” (Otto Dix, cited in: Brigitte Reinhardt, Dix - Maler der Tatsachen, in: Otto Dix: Bestandskatalog der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart 1989, p. 26 f.). The figural paintings are now increasingly joined by likenesses, as well as self-portraits, landscapes and floral still lifes. What is captivating about the present work is not just the combination of likeness and garden motif as well as the relationships between the colours, but also the thematic parallel between the motifs of the open flower and the children's faces, which Dix has lovingly captured and juxtaposed.
Galerie Koch, Lübeck (1977); in private collection North Rhine-Westphalia since, family possession
Fritz Löffler, Otto Dix, Leben und Werk, Dresden/Wien 1967 (2nd edition), p. 131 with illus. 225; Fritz Löffler, Otto Dix, Leben und Werk, Dresden 1972 (3rd edition), p. 135/136 with illus. 229; Fritz Löffler, Otto Dix 1891-1969, Oeuvre der Gemälde, Recklinghausen 1981, p. 75 and cat. no. 1965/1 with illus.; cf. Florian Karsch, Otto Dix. Das graphische Werk, Hanover 1970, p. 281 f., cat. no. 309 I-III with illustrations ("Zwei Kinder (mit Sonnenblume)")