Grosz, George

born Georg Ehrenfried Gross (1893-1959)
   painter and graphic artist; among the most admired—and hated—social commentators of the 1920s. He was born in Berlin.* Expelled from school in 1908 for striking an instructor, he attended Dresden's Kunstakademie during 1909-1911. His first caricatures appeared in 1910 in the periodicals Ulk and Lustige Blatter.He attended the Berlin Museum s Kunstgewerbeschule during 1912-1916 (with an interruption in 1915 for military service). Although he pondered a literary career during these years, his vision of German militarism was always better expressed in art. Inducted a second time in 1917, he was dismissed when the army deemed him mentally unstable. He returned to Berlin and was soon involved in the Dada* movement. He coedited satirical periodicals during 1919-1924 with Wie-land Herzfelde and provided illustrations for other magazines and books. With Raoul Hausmann and John Heartfield,* he organized the First International Dada Art Fair in 1920.
   Grosz s talent was to render the grotesque with rare poignancy. Without en-couraging any utopian vision, he deemed it imperative that contemporaries dis-cern the realities of their surroundings. His fame is based largely on satirical drawings published by the radical Malik Verlag (headed by Herzfelde) in a series of books and portfolios. Under the impact of war and inflation,* he targeted judges, capitalists, the military, and profiteers. His 1920 portfolio Gott mit uns (God with us) brought a fine of five thousand marks for attacking the army; yet he continued to violate the prevailing sense of decency, believing it his duty to shock. His 1923 publication Ecce Homo brought another court appearance and a fine of six thousand marks for defaming public morals. Two images in his 1928 portfolio Hintergrund (Background), one depicting a pastor balancing a cross on his nose and the other featuring a crucified Christ with gas mask, led to a four-thousand-mark fine for blasphemy and sacrilege (the verdict was re-versed in 1929). His art steadily exposed the plight of the injured and exploited: crippled veterans, workers, office employees, the ostracized, prostitutes, and the orphaned.
   The unmasking of the realities of public and private life came at a price: Grosz became a target of those whose values he attacked. Yet while he was hated by Germany's Right, he was held suspect by the Left. He joined the KPD in 1922; however, after he traveled the same year to Russia, he resigned his membership. Although he became chairman in 1924 of Berlin's Rote Gruppe, a society of Communist artists, the organization was less political than the name suggests. Unable to concede that any one ideology was inviolate, Grosz, like numerous contemporaries (e.g., Kurt Tucholsky* and Bertolt Brecht*), cherished his independence above all else.
   Grosz was awarded the Watson F. Blair Purchase Prize of the Chicago Art Institute in 1931 and arranged his first American exhibition at the Weyhe Gallery in New York. In 1932 he taught for New York's Art Students League, and although he returned to Germany in October, he was back in America with his wife in January 1933. After Hitler's* seizure of power he remained in New York, becoming an American citizen in 1938 and teaching until 1955. The NSDAP removed 285 of his works from German institutions; 13 drawings, 5 paintings, and 2 watercolors were included in the 1937 exhibit Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art).
   REFERENCES:Barron, "Degenerate Art"; Flavell, George Grosz; Beth Lewis, George Grosz; NDB, vol. 7; Schneede, George Grosz.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Grosz,George — Grosz (grōs), George. 1893 1959. German born American artist. Associated with the Berlin Dada movement, he is best known for his biting antimilitaristic caricatures of the 1920s. * * * …   Universalium

  • Grosz, George — orig. Georg Grosz born July 26, 1893, Berlin, W.Ger. died July 6, 1959, West Berlin German born U.S. painter, draftsman, and illustrator. After studying art in Dresden and Berlin, he began selling caricatures to magazines. During World War I he… …   Universalium

  • Grosz, George — (Georg Gross, 1893 1959)    Designer. Grosz is best remembered for his work with Erwin Piscator, especially on one production: Die Abenteuer des braven Soldaten Schwejk (The Adventures of Good Soldier Schwede) in 1928. For that production, Grosz… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Grosz, George — orig. Georg Grosz (26 jul. 1893, Berlín, Alemania–6 jul. 1959, Berlín Occidental). Pintor, dibujante e ilustrador estadounidense de origen alemán. Después de haber estudiado arte en Dresde y Berlín, comenzó a vender caricaturas para revistas.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Grosz, George —  (1893–1959) German born American artist …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Grosz, George —    см. Грос, Георг …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • George Grosz — George Grosz, 1930 George Grosz (* 26. Juli 1893 als Georg Ehrenfried Groß in Berlin; † 6. Juli 1959 ebenda) war ein deutsch amerikanischer Maler, Grafiker und Karikaturist. Mit George Grosz werden vor allem seine der Neuen Sachlichkeit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Grosz — (July 26, 1893 – July 6, 1959) was a German artist known especially for his savagely caricatural drawings of Berlin life in the 1920s. He was a prominent member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity group during the Weimar Republic before he… …   Wikipedia

  • George Grosz — Nom de naissance Georg Groß Activité Peinture Naissance 26 juillet 1893 Berlin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grósz — Grosz oder Grósz ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alfréd Grósz (1885–1973), ungarischer Bergsteiger Christiane Grosz (* 1944), deutsche Schriftstellerin und Keramikerin Emil Grósz (auch Emil von Grósz, Emile de Grósz; 1865–1941),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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