Köpfe, Otto Dix
Otto Dix
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Otto Dix

Köpfe, 1923

334 x 505 mm
Physical Description
Watercolour and pen in black on wove paper (rough watercolour paper)
Inventory Number
Object Number
17886 Z
Acquired in 2019 as a bequest from Ulrike Crespo from the Karl Ströher Collection
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

In this watercolour, Dix grouped six very different heads in an arrangement more dissociated than scenic. Here the artist described anonymous city dwellers with a few lines and above all with colour. The transparent hues blend and fray at the edges, seemingly unchecked by any structure—and nevertheless form curls of hair, hats, ruddy cheeks, and red lips. The spots of blank paper representing the whites of the eyes flash out here and there. Dix accorded equal status to watercolours and oils. In Düsseldorf between 1922 and 1925, he executed many likenesses in this technique, demonstrating a fine sensibility for colouristic effects.

About the Acquisition

The Städel Museum has the photographer, psychotherapist, philanthropist, and long-time Frankfurt resident Ulrike Crespo (1950–2019) to thank for more than ninety works ranging from classical modernism to American pop art. The paintings, drawings, and prints by Wassily Kandinsky, Otto Dix, Oskar Schlemmer, Max Ernst, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, and others originally belonged to the holdings of her grandfather, the Darmstadt-based industrialist Karl Ströher (1890–1977), who amassed an extensive art collection after World War II.

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