Georg Grosz was the leading German satirical draughtsman of the 20th-century. He was trained at the Dresden Academy from 1909 and served in the army from 1914, but his dislike of authority resulted in a court martial for insubordination and he was nearly shot.
In 1918 he was one of the founders of Dada in Berlin. He was arrested during the Spartakus uprising in January 1919, but escaped using fake identification documents; he joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in the same year and in 1920 produced a book of satirical drawings - Got mit uns (God with us) - as a result of which he was fined 300 German marks for insulting the German Army and the destruction of Got mit uns. In 1923 he was fined again for an insult to morality, and in 1928 for blasphemy.
Fortunately for him, he began to exhibit in America in 1931 and in 1933 he went to New York, remaining in America until he revisited Germany in 1951.
His years in the US took the edge off his satire. He returned to Berlin in 1959, with the intention of staying there, but died soon after his arrival after a heavy drinking session.
His autobiography has been published in German and English: the German version (1955) is called Ein Kleines Ja und ein grosses Nein - A small yes and a big no, being a pun on his own name.
There are examples of his work in Berlin, Cologne and Stuggart, as well as Boston, Cambridge Mass. (Fogg), Chicago, London (Tate) and New York (M of MA).
- He changed his name in 1916 at the age of 23.
- He was a friend of the artist John Heartfield.
- The subjects of his famous 1920s Berlin drawings were fat businessmen, wounded soldiers, prostitutes, sex crimes and orgies.
Sept. 2013: As part of photographing the covers and inner flaps of every book ever published, I've started the scans on Grosz books which can be viewed here (smartphone page). Just a few for the mo. but will be added to. If you have any photos of any Grosz book covers from any part of the world why not e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) them to me and I'll put them up. The aim is to have a visual record of every Grosz book ever published. Inner flaps and the publishers notes contain so much info about the book - I like to include at least the flap as well if possible. And your help makes it a lot easier. Or, if you prefer, you can send me your unwanted books and I can scan them. Any book, not just this author. Address: Paul Page, 5 High St., South Norwood, London SE25 6EP, UK. If you are thinking of chucking those books out then this would make a perfect alternative home for them.
Complete Georg Grosz Print Selection at allposters.com
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