Portrait Of The Dancer Anita Berber Analysis

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In 1925 Otto Dix completed a painting of a friend and performing artist titled, The Portrait of the Dancer Anita Berber. At first glance it appears Dix portrays Berber in a harsh and negative light, however upon a closer look at the personal, public and artistic lives of both artists one can glean that Dix represented Berber more fondly and favorably than many of his other portraits of working women.
The Portrait of the Dancer Anita Berber confronts the viewer with a fire engine red color scheme that is close to monochromatic. Berber wears a slinky fitted dress that hugs and accentuates her body. The dress material bunches and stretches leading the viewer’s eyes throughout her body. Dix stated that “the essence of every person is expressed on the outside; the outside is the expression of the inside- That is, the outside and the inside are identical. That goes so far that even the folds in a persons clothing, their attitude, their hands, their ears immediately give the painter information about the soul of a model, often more so than the eyes and the mouth.” Her posture is graceful and confrontational yet detached as she turns her head to look away from the viewer. The image ends at her knees. A high turtleneck plays up her thin neck. The background
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The title indicates she is young, yet Dix characteristically aged her with drooping breasts and a worn out appearance. The young girl’s genitals are exposed and her back is to the viewer. It is as if the viewer is peeking in on the girl. She is seemingly unaware of the viewer, and therefore the viewer has the power in the scene. Compared to Girl in Front of the Mirror, Berber’s portrait conveys a woman that is rounded, healthy and somewhat youthful. While the image of Berber is sensual and sexual, it is not lewd or unabashedly centered around sex. Berber confronts the viewer with her posture and body language, maintaining power over the

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