Art exhibit shows Jesus in stills

By Jasmin Ortiz

Hauntingly beautiful black and white lithographs make up the Otto Dix: Matthaus Evangelium art exhibit being hosted by the UMHB Art Department of the University from Sept. 24 until Oct. 15. The exhibit tells the story of Christ through the eyes of a World War I survivor.

Otto Dix was a modern artist, who lived through two world wars before dying in 1969. Dix is considered one of the greatest German Expressionist artists of the 20th Century. In the exhibit being held at the university, his war experiences are evident in his work.

“The work is typical of the heightened emotional quality common to the Expressionists of that era when World Wars I and II had so violently shaken societies all over the world,” Director and Professor of the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts Art Gallery Hershall Seals, said. “Otto Dix uses military dress from WWII to illustrate the injustice done to Jesus by having soldiers arresting Christ while they all wear the uniforms of German Nazis.”

Many of his pieces became more religious in nature after Dix witnessed the atrocities of the religious persecution during the Holocaust.

Each piece in this particular collection is representative of a moment of Jesus’ story with a WWII twist, such as the officials being dressed in Nazi war uniforms, representing the crucifixion of the Jewish people during the war. Seals said the work is shedding a new light on the presence of God in dire times.

“I think that the artist is able to capture the story of Christ in a really beautiful and inspiring manner,” freshman undeclared major Aurora Upton said.

The artist focuses on particular moments such as the fisherman who was blessed by Jesus and had his bounty multiplied. This exchange is represented in a still which shows the sincere moment when the man is holding the fish in reverence. This representative of how God provides, Seals said.

Dix’s take on the story of Jesus Christ through the eyes of a man who has seen the hurts and trials of war, makes the artwork even more impactful.

This exhibition is part of the Bowden Collection, which provides churches, seminaries, colleges, and museums across the United States with the opportunity to display religious art.

Author: Jasmin Ortiz

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