War touched these two artist’s sensibilities, transforming their art in the process. Otto Dix, the German expressionist, presents damaged landscapes devoid of people where nature is subverted, all painted with a realist’s eye. With A. Y. Jackson, the war landscape becomes a stage where nature is devastated by the actions and transgressions of war. It all has a somnolent beauty. The machine transforms man and nature is the backdrop. War transforms each artist’s vision. A macabre post-war etching by Otto Dix presents human skulls merging with nature but new growth emerges from this unknown soldier’s corpse. Two artists, both recognized artists of their era. One German, the other Canadian, both in the trenches, painterly witnesses to their era, and what humanity can do. Otto Dix and A. Y. Jackson’s interpretations of the scenarios of war, the German initially expressionist, then subdued, and the Canadian, moving towards a lyrical landscape style. Curated by Laura Brandon, the Canadian War Museum’s Transformations: A.Y. Jackson and Otto Dix, on until mid-September, is well worth the visit.

Transformations : A.Y. Jackson & Otto Dix
April 10 – September 21, 2014

Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0M8
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 555-5621
www.warmuseum.ca(lien externe)

 
Image
Otto Dix
Zerfallender Kampfgraben (Trench in Ruins), 1924
© Estate of Otto Dix/SODRAC (2014)/National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

Image
A. Y. Jackson
The Red Maple, 1914
© McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinberg, Ontario

Image
A. Y. Jackson
Vimy Ridge from Souchez Valley, 1918
© Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

Image
A. Y. Jackson
A Copse, Evening, 1918
© Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario

 
Image
Otto Dix
War Scene, 1917
©Estate of Otto Dix/SODRAC (2014)/MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan