George Grosz

German (1893 - 1959)
George Grosz Eberts Bestattung [The Funeral of Ebert] 1923 © Estate of George Grosz, Princeton, N.J. / DACS 2018.

Biography

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.

  • The term Degenerate Art (German: Entarte Kunst), was coined in the 1930s by the Nazis to ridicule modern art that did not fit with Hitler’s vision.  Confiscated by the German government, exhibitions of "Degenerate" artworks took place in cities including Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. In addition to this ridicule, the Mazi's forbade artists branded with the term from exhibiting or holding teaching posts.

  • 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.