George Grosz

The politically engaged paintings and drawings by George Grosz offer a caricatured depiction of the reality of the Weimar Republic in the 1920s and 1930s. They put forward a harsh critique of a collapsing society succumbing to extreme-right propaganda. Grosz’s satirical works depict violence, crime and prostitution, which strike a false note in the symphony of the metropolis, as well as everyday street and café situations, underpinned by the grimness of rising fascism. The graphic prints presented in the exhibition originate from the publications "The Face of the Ruling Class" (Das Gesicht der herrschenden Klasse) and "God with Us" (Gott mit Uns)—collections of political caricatures depicting the greed and hypocrisy of the German bourgeoisie, which portrayed itself as honest and pious while supporting fascist ideology, prostitution, gambling, corruption, and the violence of the German police. In the publication "We’ll Settle Accounts!" (Abrechnung folgt!), released with John Heartfield, Grosz portrays the social and political landscape of the Weimar Republic, torn by inflation, class inequalities, workers’ strikes and anti-capitalist protests.

George Grosz (b. 1893, d. 1959 in Berlin) – painter and graphic artist, member of the Berlin Dadaist group. He studied at the academy in Dresden but derived inspiration primarily from writings on walls in the city and children’s drawings, which he considered the most powerful forms of artistic expression. The artist’s short experience on the front of World War I turned him into a pacifist and a communist activist until the end of his life. In the 1920s and 1930s, Grosz created politically engaged works in which he critically portrayed the social and political reality of the Weimar Republic. In 1933, he left permanently for the United States, where he devoted himself to painting, returning to Germany only right before his death in 1959.

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