Neun Holzschnitte (K. 23-31) (Nine woodcuts (K. 23-31))
Property from a Private European Collection
1891 - 1969
Neun Holzschnitte (K. 23-31) (Nine woodcuts (K. 23-31))
The complete portfolio, comprising nine woodcuts, 1919-21, each signed in pencil, dated, titled, numbered 24/30, accompanied by the title page and text, published by Heinar Schilling, Dresdner Verlag, Dresden, on fibrous laid paper
each sheet: approx. 43.5 by 35.5 cm. 17⅛ by 14 in.
Please note the colours in the online catalogue illustration may vary depending on screen settings.
With full margins, each in generally good condition, with pale scattered foxing and light- and damp-staining,
the title page and text with uneven paper discoloration, other minor defects (outlined below), each unframed.
Notes on individual sheets include:
Strasse (K. 23): With full margins, with a couple of tiny splits along the sheet edges, unframed. (A small blue
fibre embedded in the sheet verso is inherent to production).
Elektrische (K. 24): With full margins, with a couple of tiny nicks along the sheet edges and a small loss at the
upper right corner, unframed.
Die Prominenten (Konstellation) (K. 25): With full margins, with a tiny loss at the lower left sheet edge, the
lower left corner skilfully backed, presumably to support a broken-through thinned area, a small thin spot at
the upper left corner, unframed.
Liebespaar (K. 27): With full margins, possibly shaved slightly unevenly at left sheet edge, unframed.
Katzen (K. 28): With full margins, possibly shaved slightly unevenly at left sheet edge, a couple of minuscule
white spots (possibly bloom?) in the right margin, unframed.
Mann und Weib (Nachtliche Szene) (K. 29): With full margins, with tiny nicks in places along the sheet edges,
a soft diagonal crease at the lower left corner, unframed.
Apotheose (K. 30): With full margins, possibly shaved slightly unevenly at upper sheet edge, two tiny
perforations below the subject's right foot, unframed.
Scherzo (K. 31): With full margins, with a couple of nicks along the sheet edges in places, unframed.
(Each with hinge remnants at two corners and the purple inkstamp of the Berlin customs office verso).
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE
Galerie Nierendorf, Berlin
Private Collection, Switzerland (acquired from the above in the 1960's)
Thence by descent to the present owner
Otto Dix trained as a decorative painter for a decade before joining the German army and serving throughout the war. In 1919, his eyes opened were by life on the front line, he began to imagine himself in the lower depths amongst the diseased and maimed. He dealt with topics in poor taste: mutilated veterans, for example, forced to beg on the streets. In the newspapers he read of sex crimes and of serial killings.
He recalled people driven mad to the point of suicide by memories of life and death in the trenches, and by subsequent hardships. Military life had also familiarized him with the dangers of syphilis, a major threat to war efforts on all sides. Dix, a handsome upstanding man, represented himself as an unmoved witness in the alternative cultures to which he and his contemporaries had been so brutally exposed.
Heinar Schilling of the Dresdner Verlag published Neun Holzschnitte (Nine Woodcuts) in 1922. They date from 1919 when Dix was at his most dynamic, described at the time by Hugo Zehder as being like ‘’a Sioux chieftain. Always on the warpath.’’ Elektrische, which opens the series and depicts a tram no. 42 that sparks and crackles even though labelled A-moll, along with an advert for Ilse. The quaint painting of 1919 shows tram 47 travelling east, marked E, having arrived at stop no. 11 (fig. 1). In the woodcut, by contrast, passengers shout against the din. Dix liked reading matter, but he also liked sensory overload, as expressed in the sparking, clanking streetcar. The next woodcut he named Lärm der Strasse, the noise of the street, inscribed with a line from a romantic song, set to music by Liszt, “O lieb’, so lang du lieben kannst” (“O love as long as love you can”). Street scenes were mostly genteel until electric trams and traffic brought a new order of sounds to city streets. Futurists may have looked forward to exhilarating urban experiences but Dix, demobilised in Dresden in 1919 and after, came across inversions featuring sprawled and crippled beggars on the city’s pavements, avoided and mostly ignored by passers-by.