Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Safe and Sound in Dresden
This is the second time I've written this. I completed the entire entry, tried to attach a photo, and crashed the whole thing. I've tried to now add to the start of this entry.
Despite lots of delays (we nearly ran out of fuel after being in a holding pattern for an hour over Newark -- followed by two hours waiting on the tarmac in the second plane) I was finally on my way to Germany. I took an Ambien after dinner and managed to sleep over four hours -- an all-time record for me.
As a result, I didn't get to Dresden til about 3 pm on Tuesday. After checking into my hotel (about two blocks from the 18th century dairy I visited last year, I went in to the Altstadt. The Grünes Gewölbe (what my mother calls the world's biggest and most expensive tchochke collection) is closed on Tuesday, so I went to the Zwinger instead.
I really wanted to check out their small modern collection temporarily housed in the Old Masters Gallery. Until the work on the New Masters Gallery is finished, they have temporary excerpts in it. Right now, they are featuring work by Otto Dix, an important post-WWI German artist. Banned by the Nazis as "degenerate," his most powerful piece was the triptych titled "The War," which I've tried to show at the top of this post.
This just blew me away. It is by no means a pretty or comfortable piece to look at it, but in its raw power, in my opinion, it far exceeds that of Picasso's Guernica, composed 7 or 8 years later. It also anticipate, in its middle panel, the work of Francis Bacon. Worth the price of admission alone.
Well, time to get some dinner. Some of you have posted comments on this blog, which is fine, but I've set up a system where I moderate them. That means they don't get posted until I approve them. That way, I don't find out two months ago that you had something to say about what I wrote. That also means your comments won't appear until I approve them -- something I can only do about once a day or so. So don't panic or repost them several times wondering why you can't see them up yet.