George Grosz (1920) Die Kommunisten fallen - und die Devisen Steigen (The Communists fall - and the Exchange Rate Rises.)
George Grosz (1920) Die Kommunisten fallen – und die Devisen Steigen (The Communists fall – and the Exchange Rate Rises.)
The art of George Grosz (1893-1959) provides bitterly satirical and haunting grotesque caricatures of the world in which he lived. Emerging out of the First World War, Grosz’s drawings display absolute disdain for capitalists, military officials and politicians alike. A leading figure in movements such as German Expressionism, Dadaism and New Objectivity, George Grosz was a controversial figure who was denounced by the Nazis as ‘Cultural Bolshevik no.1’. A member of the German Communist Party from 1919, George Grosz was nonetheless a controversial figure in the party itself. His biting satire seemed unable to fit in any institution or organization. Following the rise to power of the Nazi party in 1933, George Grosz emigrated to New York where he became an anti-Stalinist, while his art confrontationally responded to New York’s consensus around Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. In many ways, the art and life of George Grosz displays a unique and challenging engagement with the social upheavals that surrounded him.
In this session we are joined by Barbara McCloskey. She is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Her books include George Grosz and the Communist Party: Art and Radicalism in Crisis, 1918 to 1936 (1997), Artist of World War II (2005), and The Exile of George Grosz: Modernism, America, and the One World Order (2015). In this session she will be joining us to discuss her work on George Grosz, his provocative art and the context in which he lived.