‘Between Art and History: Reconfiguring the Memory of World War I in Otto Dix’s Metropolis’, in Artistic Expressions and the Great War, A Hundred Years On ed. by Sally Charnow (New York: Peter Lang, 2020). DOI: https://doi.org/10.3726/b15605
Otto Dix’s thirty-eight months as a frontline soldier were the key to much of his post-war output. Alongside numerous portraits and other commissioned work, his portrayal of post-war German society and the war experience made him one of Germany’s most internationally known and controversial living artists. His sparse commentary on his work during the 1920s and 1930s have only enhanced the pictures’ enigma, then and since. Yet, much may be gleaned as to how the works engaged with the memory of the war in Germany by address to cultural and political conditions, and by examining the reception of the work by cultural critics. This chapter examines how Dix’s large triptych Metropolis (Figure 1) contributed to the shaping of war memory in Germany in 1928, ten years after the armistice, treating how the artist’s invocation of German artistic traditions and revocation of prevailing models of militant identity worked to reconfigure German memorialisation of World War I. Read about the book on the Peter Lang website
16 July 2021: The German Artists Association Dresden vs. Otto Dix, Academia Letters, Article 1128. https://doi.org/10.20935/AL1128
It is well documented that Otto Dix’s career was forced to a halt when the Nazis took control of artistic activity in Germany in early 1933. It is little discussed, however, that the activities of a völkisch artists’ group in Dresden, the extreme-nationalist Deutsche Kunstgesellschaft Dresden (German Art Society Dresden, DKD), were instrumental in targeting his work as ‘degenerate’ from as early as 1927, leading to several of his major works being shown in the infamous degenerate art exhibitions organised by the Nazis from mid-1933. This short article traces some of the DKD’s actions against Otto Dix from 1927-33. Read full article online
01 July 2020: In the Fray: Making and Meaning in Jenny Bowker’s Memorial Quilt After the Last Sky, H-Art Issue 7, Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes), Bogotá, Colombia, July 2020
This essay explores meaning and materiality in the monumental memorial quilt After the Last Sky by Australian art-quiltmaker Jenny Bowker, which memorialises the suffering of protesters during the Rabaa Square Massacre in Cairo on 14 August 2013. The essay shows how Bowker’s migration of the photographic image to quilt form, as well as the quilt’s meaningful, strategic use of medium and relevance to current artistic developments challenge the limits placed on textiles as art. Read full article online
Resumen – Español: En la Refriega:1 La Creación y el Significado en el Edredón Conmemorativo After the Last Sky [Después del Último Cielo] de Jenny Bowker. Este ensayo explora el significado y la materialidad en el monumental edredón conmemorativo After the Last Sky de la artista australiana Jenny Bowker, que conmemora el sufrimiento de los manifestantes durante la Masacre de la Plaza de Rabaa en El Cairo el 14 de agosto de 2013. El ensayo muestra como el trabajo de Bowker pone a prueba los límites impuestos al textil en cuanto medio artístico a través del traslado de la fotografía a la forma de edredón, haciendo también un uso estratégico de este medio que le da relevancia en el marco de los desarrollos artísticos actuales. Leer ensayo completo
14 March 2020: Journal article: ‘Käthe Kollwitz: Memorialisation as Anti-Militarist Weapon’, Arts – Special Issue: World War, Art, and Memory: 1914 to 1945, ed. by Andrew Nedd, 2020.)
Abstract: This essay explores Käthe Kollwitz’s anti-war graphic work in the context of the German, and later, international No More War movement from 1920 to 1925, where it performed an important role in anti-militarist campaigns, exhibitions and publications, both in Germany and internationally. Looking at Kollwitz’s production closely, we discover a deeply pragmatic artistic strategy, where the emotionality of Kollwitz’s famed prints was the result of tireless technical, formal and compositional investigation, contrived to maximise emotional impact. By choosing the easily disseminated medium of printmaking as her main vehicle and using a deliberately spare but powerful graphic language in carefully chosen motifs, Kollwitz intended her art to reach as broad an audience as possible in engaging anti-war sentiment. In connection with the leading anti-war voices of the time, including French Nobel Prize-winning writer Romain Rolland and the founder of War Resisters’ International, Helene Stöcker, she deployed her work to reach beyond the confines of the art gallery and into internationally distributed posters, periodicals and books. Keywords: World War I; German art; anti-war; Käthe Kollwitz; Weimar; printmaking; graphic art; anti-militarism; memory; memorialization; No More War movement; modernism. An interactive PDF can be downloaded here. Or read the essay on the journal website
Constructing the Memory of War in Visual Culture since 1914: The Eye on War (New York: Routledge, 2018).
Peer-reviewed collection of twenty essays. A transnational, interdisciplinary perspective on the memory of war in visual culture from 1914 to the present. Contributors address issues relating to propaganda, wartime femininity and masculinity, women as war artists, trauma, the role of art in soldiery, art as resistance, identity and collective memory. Read front matter and introduction…
Germanistik in Ireland Schriftenreihe, Vol. 3, Interrogating Normalcy: Proceedings of the Conference in German Studies, University College Cork, May 2011 (Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre Verlag, 2013, 146 pp).
Collection of nine peer-reviewed essays in German Studies, in collaboration with series editors Prof. Florian Krobb and Dr Jeff Morrison, National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
POSTGRADUATE PUBLISHED ESSAYS (PEER-REVIEWED)
‘A War of Images: Otto Dix and the Myth of the War Experience’ (2014), in Aigne (peer-reviewed online postgraduate journal of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College Cork). Read on the University College Cork website
‘Demythologizing War: The Experience of Soldierhood in Otto Dix’s Battlefield Pictures’ (2013), in Interrogating Normalcy, pp. 73–98. (Peer-reviewed).
‘Reformed Masculinity: Trauma, Soldierhood and Society in Otto Dix’s War Cripples and Prague Street’ (2011), in Artefact. The Journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians, pp. 16–31. (peer-reviewed) Read…
‘Behold Man: Apes with Guns’. Reflections on Modern Warfare in the Sculpture of James Horan. Accompanying critical essay for the touring exhibition Behold Man: Apes with Guns (solo show of stone sculpture by James Horan), Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham, Dublin, 9 May – 19 July 2015. Read…
‘Propaganda rages on in World at War’, Irish Examiner (special commemorative supplement on the sinking of the Lusitania, 7 May 1915), 1 May 2015, p. 15.
Restoring a Wartime Master: On Irene Guenther’s Postcards from the Trenches. A German Soldier’s Testimony of the Great War (Bloomsbury, 2018), Los Angeles Review of Books, 5 January 2019. Read online: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/restoring-a-wartime-master-on-irene-guenthers-postcards-from-the-trenches/
Aga Skrodzka, Magic Realist Cinema in East Central Europe (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Vol. 24, Issue 3 (2016).
Anna Schober, The Cinema Makers. Public Life and the Exhibition of Difference in south-eastern and central Europe since the 1960s (Intellect, 2013), Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Vol. 24, Issue 1 (2016).
Review of Peter Tame, Dominique Jeannerod and Manuel Bragança (eds), Mnemosyne and Mars: Artistic and Cultural Representations of Twentieth-century Europe at War (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Vol. 23, Issue 1 (2015), pp. 163–164. Read…
Claudia Siebrecht, Aesthetics of Loss. German Women’s Art of the First World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), Reviews in History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Read online: http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1615
Neue Sachlichkeit in Dresden: Paintings of the 1920s from Dix to Querner, Kunsthalle, Lipsiusbau, Dresden, 1 Oct 2011 – 8 Jan 2012, Enclave Review, University College Cork (2011), p. 15.