barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

OTTO DIX (1891-1969)

Chalk Cliffs in the Sun

German, 1916

Black chalk on beige paper

284 x 208 mm


The experience of war was a dominant theme in Dix’s work until the 1930s.

Taken from a sketchbook compiled during the artist’s service in the German field artillery during the First World War, this drawing depicts a devastated landscape with burgeoning flowers beneath a rising sun. The formal composition – a sequence of fragmented and interlocking planes – demonstrates the influence Cubism in this representation of destruction and future hopes for renewal and new life.

Purchased 1992 (No. 1992.5)


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