As a German-American painter, graphic artist and caricaturist, Georg Grosz developed during his artistic career into one of the sharpest satirists of German art, whose drawings and paintings are primarily attributed to the New Objectivity. Grosz is one of the most important artists of the Weimar Republic and, besides Dresden, was mainly active in Berlin before emigrating to the USA in 1933.
The socially critical painter and graphic artist Georg Ehrenfried Grosz was born in Berlin on 26 July 1893. After studying at the Dresden Academy of Art and the School of Applied Arts in Berlin, he travelled to Paris in 1913 and attended the Académie Colarossi. In the hope of escaping deployment at the front, Grosz, who detested physical violence, volunteered for military service in 1914. After a short period of service, he was discharged the following year as unfit for duty. However, the experiences he gained during this short period had a strong influence on him and had a lasting effect on his artistic work. Together with the brothers John Heartfield and Wieland Herzfelde, whom he met in 1915, George Grosz is considered the founder of the Berlin Dada scene. From 1916 on, George Grosz increasingly devoted himself to the topic of the big city in his works and criticized bourgeois society with satirical sharpness. As a consistent opponent of war, Grosz symbolised the rejection of "being German" in his works and made clear his contempt for patriotism in German society. With a cynical undertone, the drawings and paintings by George Grosz document not only the German defeat in the war, but also the consequences of inflation or events such as the November Revolution. Because of his works, Grosz repeatedly comes into conflict with the law and is sentenced to fines. However, he is always assured of the solidarity of artists and intellectuals. In 1932, George Grosz received a teaching assignment from the New York Art Students League and emigrated to the USA in January of the following year, just a few days before the Nazis seized power. For Grosz, this new phase in his life meant turning away from the socially critical artist to a painter with a decorative and harmonious focus. The artist returned to his homeland for the last time only shortly before his death in 1959. Today, drawings and paintings by George Grosz can be found in museums and collections around the world, including Berlin's National Gallery, the Tate Gallery in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.