George Grosz

German (1893 - 1959)
George Grosz Eberts Bestattung [The Funeral of Ebert] 1923 © Estate of George Grosz, Princeton, N.J. / DACS 2017.


Born 1893
Died 1959
Nationality German

Grosz was born in Berlin. He was enlisted in 1914 but discharged on medical grounds in 1915. After his time spent in the army, Grosz developed a hatred of the military. As a protest against the campaign of hatred being incited against the enemy, he anglicized his name from 'Georg' in 1917. From 1917 to 1920 he was a prominent member of the Berlin Dada group. Along with Otto Dix, Grosz is the best known of the political artist-satirists who flourished in Germany after the First World War. In the 1920s, both Grosz and Dix were exponents of a new, sobrely realist style, called 'Neue Sachlichkeit', or New Objectivity.

Glossary terms

  • A radical artistic and literary movement that was a reaction against the cultural climate that supported the First World War. The Dadaists took an anti-establishment attitude, questioning art's status and favouring performance and collage over traditional art techniques. Many Dadaists went on to become involved with Surrealism.

  • Or Entartete Kunst. Term coined in the 1930s by the Nazis in Germany to ridicule modern art that didn't fit with Hitler's vision. Exhibitions of such works confiscated from German museums were staged and German artists branded with the term were banned from exhibiting their work.

  • A style that made an impact in the arts in the 1920s, particularly in Germany. Expressionists deliberately abandoned realistic representation techniques in favour of exaggerations and distortions of line and colour that were intended to carry far greater emotional impact.

  • A German art movement of the 1920s and early 1930s. It was partly a response to the experience of the First World War, with images containing elements of satire and social commentary. Stylistically it was sober and restrained, moving away from Expressionism to depictions based on close observation. Major figures associated with this style are George Grosz and Otto Dix.