Otto Dix - Studie I zu Ungleiches Paar - image-1

Lot 268 D

Otto Dix - Studie I zu Ungleiches Paar

Auction 1090 - overview Cologne
31.05.2017, 18:00 - Modern Art
Estimate: 30.000 € - 35.000 €
Result: 34.720 € (incl. premium)

Otto Dix

Studie I zu Ungleiches Paar

Gouache, watercolour and carpenter's pencil on watercolour paper 50.3/51 x 32.5/34.8 cm Signed, dated, and numbered 'Dix 25/341' in pencil lower right and inscribed 'Studie I zu ungleiches Paar' verso. - Very vibrant colours. The margins slightly irregularly torn.

Otto Dix's boldly coloured watercolour study is an outstanding example of the works from his Düsseldorf period, which are painted with a great sense of casual ease. With rapid and fleeting brushstrokes the artist has masterfully sketched the nude of the ill-matched pair, and they become an almost organic unity within the chromatic framework of the image. Together with two other studies, this sheet served in the preparation of Dix's painting “Ungleiches Liebespaar” (Löffler 1925/1, see comparative illus.), which was painted in the same year and is now in the collection of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. Here the painter has used the motif of the ill-matched pair to thematise the divergence within this affair between the ageing man and the younger woman. The artist uses this visual theme to approach the connection between Eros and Chronos with a previously unknown directness and clarity. At the same time, the work suggests the vanitas topos with which the artist would later occupy himself in greater depth (see Fritz Löffler, Otto Dix: 1891 - 1969; Oeuvre der Gemälde, Recklinghausen 1981, p. 26).
Watercolours represented an important artistic medium for Otto Dix. The artist emphatically utilised the immateriality of the watery paint, which - in contrast to his paintings on canvas - convey an entirely different degree of openness, ephemerality, directness and uncertainty: “The interweaving of artist and subject is more tightly knit in his watercolours, sympathies become obvious, Dix gives his temperament free rein. The distance is smaller, enables a sensitive reaction, and thus the uncensored yield of his restless search emerges as his subjective answer to the world around him. […] In his watercolours Dix sets himself adrift, unrestrainedly conveys his nature, his sensual allure […].” (Suse Pfäffle, Otto Dix: Werkverzeichnis der Aquarelle und Gouachen, Stuttgart 1991, p. 67).

Catalogue Raisonné

Pfäffle A 1925/37 ("whereabouts unknown")


Archiv für Bildende Kunst at Germanisches Nationalmuseum I, B 14; I, C 384


Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett R. N. Ketterer, Stuttgart (1973); Wolfgang Schuller Kunsthandel, Wertheim (1980, acquired there); Private collection, Baden-Württemberg; in family possession, Hesse, since


R. N. Ketterer, Lagerkatalog Moderne Kunst 1973, VIII, no. 20; Brigid Barton, Otto Dix and Die neue Sachlichkeit 1918-1925, Michigan: UMI, 1981, p. 144, VI B 39


Munich 1970 (Galerie Klihm), Otto Dix. Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Radierungen 1920-1927, cat. no. 13 with illus.; Paris 1970 (Goethe-Institut), Otto Dix. Aquarelles, Dessins, cat. no. 20; Essen 1971/1972 (Museum Folkwang), Otto Dix. Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Radierfolge 'Der Krieg', cat. no. 88; Rom 1972 (Galleria Giulia/Goethe-Institut/Biblioteca Germanica), Otto Dix, acquerelli, disegni, incisioni, cat. no. 88