George GroszGermany 1893-1959
The Germans to the Front (from Gott Mitt Us series) OP 56
World War I instilled in Grosz a hatred of the Prussian military establishment, which he attacked mercilessly in his work. The most well known of his satirical drawings is Fit for Active Service, in which a fat, complacent doctor pronounces a skeleton fit for duty. His disgust with his countrymen caused him to anglicize his name (adding an 'e' to Georg) in 1917. Immediately after the war, Grosz became a leader in the German Dada movement, which brought him much success and international recognition. His work in the 1920s and 1930s ruthlessly denounced a decaying German society and his despair of the political situation in Germany. His relentless political views resulted in several prosecutions for obscenity and blasphemy, the confiscation of his drawings, and his inclusion in Hitler's Entarte Kunst (degenerate art) exhibition in 1937 in Munich. In 1933, Grosz came to the U.S. to take up a teaching post at the Art Students League in New York. He taught there until 1955. In later years, Grosz painted romantic landscapes and still-lifes attempting to overcome his reputation as a brilliant satirist. He died shortly after his return to Germany in 1959.
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