George Grosz

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George Grosz_table_infobox_0

George GroszGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_0_0
BornGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_1_0 Georg Ehrenfried Groß

(1893-07-26)July 26, 1893 Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German EmpireGeorge Grosz_cell_0_1_1

DiedGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_2_0 July 6, 1959(1959-07-06) (aged 65)

West Berlin, West GermanyGeorge Grosz_cell_0_2_1

NationalityGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_3_0 German, American (after 1938)George Grosz_cell_0_3_1
EducationGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_4_0 Dresden AcademyGeorge Grosz_cell_0_4_1
Known forGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_5_0 Painting, drawingGeorge Grosz_cell_0_5_1
Notable workGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_6_0 The Funeral (Dedicated to Oscar Panizza)George Grosz_cell_0_6_1
MovementGeorge Grosz_header_cell_0_7_0 Dada, Expressionism, New ObjectivityGeorge Grosz_cell_0_7_1

George Grosz (German: [ɡʁoːs; born Georg Ehrenfried Groß; July 26, 1893 – July 6, 1959) was a German artist known especially for his caricatural drawings and paintings of Berlin life in the 1920s. George Grosz_sentence_0

He was a prominent member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity groups during the Weimar Republic. George Grosz_sentence_1

He immigrated to the United States in 1933, and became a naturalized citizen in 1938. George Grosz_sentence_2

Abandoning the style and subject matter of his earlier work, he exhibited regularly and taught for many years at the Art Students League of New York. George Grosz_sentence_3

In 1959 he returned to Berlin where he died shortly after. George Grosz_sentence_4

Early life George Grosz_section_0

Grosz was born Georg Ehrenfried Groß in Berlin, Germany, the third child of a pub owner. George Grosz_sentence_5

His parents were devoutly Lutheran. George Grosz_sentence_6

Grosz grew up in the Pomeranian town of Stolp (now Słupsk, Poland). George Grosz_sentence_7

After his father's death in 1900, he moved to the Wedding district of Berlin with his mother and sisters. George Grosz_sentence_8

At the urging of his cousin, the young Grosz began attending a weekly drawing class taught by a local painter named Grot. George Grosz_sentence_9

Grosz developed his skills further by drawing meticulous copies of the drinking scenes of Eduard von Grützner, and by drawing imaginary battle scenes. George Grosz_sentence_10

He was expelled from school in 1908 for insubordination. George Grosz_sentence_11

From 1909 to 1911, he studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, where his teachers were Richard Müller, Robert Sterl, Raphael Wehle, and Osmar Schindler. George Grosz_sentence_12

His first published drawing was in the satirical magazine Ulk in 1910. George Grosz_sentence_13

From 1912 until 1917 he studied at the Berlin College of Arts and Crafts under Emil Orlik. George Grosz_sentence_14

He began painting in oils in 1912. George Grosz_sentence_15

In November 1914 Grosz volunteered for military service, in the hope that by thus preempting conscription he would avoid being sent to the front. George Grosz_sentence_16

He was given a discharge after hospitalization for sinusitis in 1915. George Grosz_sentence_17

In 1916 he changed the spelling of his name to "de-Germanise" and internationalise his name – thus Georg became "George" (an English spelling), while in his surname he replaced the German "ß" with its phonetic equivalent "sz". George Grosz_sentence_18

He did this as a protest against German nationalism and out of a romantic enthusiasm for America – a legacy of his early reading of the books of James Fenimore Cooper, Bret Harte and Karl May – that he retained for the rest of his life. George Grosz_sentence_19

His artist friend and collaborator Helmut Herzfeld likewise changed his name to John Heartfield at the same time. George Grosz_sentence_20

In January 1917 Grosz was drafted for service, but in May he was discharged as permanently unfit. George Grosz_sentence_21

Political engagement following the November Revolution George Grosz_section_1

Following the November Revolution in the last months of 1918, Grosz joined the Spartacist League, which was renamed the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in December 1918. George Grosz_sentence_22

He was arrested during the Spartakus uprising in January 1919, but escaped using fake identification documents. George Grosz_sentence_23

In 1920 he married Eva Peters. George Grosz_sentence_24

In the same year he published a collection of his drawings, titled Gott mit uns ("God with us"), a satire on German society. George Grosz_sentence_25

Grosz was accused of insulting the army, which resulted in a 300 German Mark fine and the confiscation of the plates used to print the album. George Grosz_sentence_26

Trip to Russia George Grosz_section_2

In 1922 Grosz traveled to Russia with the writer Martin Andersen Nexø. George Grosz_sentence_27

Upon their arrival in Murmansk they were briefly arrested as spies; after their credentials were approved, they were allowed to continue their journey. George Grosz_sentence_28

He met with several Bolshevik leaders such as Grigory Zinoviev, Karl Radek, and Vladimir Lenin. George Grosz_sentence_29

He went with Arthur Holitscher to meet Anatoly Lunacharsky with whom he discussed Proletkult. George Grosz_sentence_30

He rejected the concept of "proletarian culture", arguing that the term proletarian meant uneducated and uncultured. George Grosz_sentence_31

He regarded artistic talent as a "gift of the muses", with which a person may be lucky enough to be born with. George Grosz_sentence_32

Grosz's six-month stay in the Soviet Union left him unimpressed by what he had seen. George Grosz_sentence_33

He ended his membership in the KPD in 1923, although his political positions were little changed. George Grosz_sentence_34

Later activities in Germany George Grosz_section_3

According to Grosz's son Martin Grosz, during the 1920s Nazi officers visited Grosz's studio looking for him, but because he was wearing a working man's apron Grosz was able to pass himself off as a handyman and avoid being taken into custody. George Grosz_sentence_35

His work was also part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics. George Grosz_sentence_36

In 1928 he was prosecuted for blasphemy after publishing anticlerical drawings, such as one depicting prisoners under assault from a minister who vomits grenades and weapons onto them, and another showing Christ coerced into military service. George Grosz_sentence_37

According to historian David Nash, Grosz "publicly stated that he was neither Christian nor pacifist, but was actively motivated by an inner need to create these pictures", and was finally acquitted after two appeals. George Grosz_sentence_38

By contrast, in 1942 Time magazine identified Grosz as a pacifist. George Grosz_sentence_39

Emigration to America George Grosz_section_4

Bitterly anti-Nazi, Grosz left Germany shortly before Hitler came to power. George Grosz_sentence_40

In June 1932, he accepted an invitation to teach the summer semester at the Art Students League of New York. George Grosz_sentence_41

In October 1932, Grosz returned to Germany, but on January 12, 1933, he and his family emigrated to the United States. George Grosz_sentence_42

Grosz became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1938, and made his home in Bayside, New York. George Grosz_sentence_43

In the 1930s he taught at the Art Students League, where one of his students was Romare Bearden, who was influenced by his style of collage. George Grosz_sentence_44

He taught at the Art Students League intermittently until 1955. George Grosz_sentence_45

In America, Grosz determined to make a clean break with his past, and changed his style and subject matter. George Grosz_sentence_46

He continued to exhibit regularly, and in 1946 he published his autobiography, A Little Yes and a Big No. George Grosz_sentence_47

In the 1950s he opened a private art school at his home and also worked as Artist in Residence at the Des Moines Art Center. George Grosz_sentence_48

Grosz was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician in 1950. George Grosz_sentence_49

In 1954 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. George Grosz_sentence_50

Though he had U.S. citizenship, he resolved to return to Berlin, and relocated there in May 1959. George Grosz_sentence_51

He died there on July 6, 1959, from the effects of falling down a flight of stairs after a night of drinking. George Grosz_sentence_52


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George Grosz.