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Reply #1: Suicide, by George Grosz [View All]

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siligut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-21-11 11:46 AM
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1. Suicide, by George Grosz


George Grosz (July 26, 1893 July 6, 1959) was a German artist known especially for his savagely caricatural drawings of Berlin life in the 1920s. He was a prominent member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity group during the Weimar Republic before he emigrated to the United States in 1933.
George Grosz was born Georg Ehrenfried Gro in Berlin, Germany, but changed his name in 1916 out of a romantic enthusiasm for America that originated in his early reading of the books of James Fenimore Cooper, Bret Harte and Karl May, and which he retained for the rest of his life. (His artist friend and collaborator Helmut Herzfeld changed his name to John Heartfield at the same time.)
Grosz grew up in the Pomeranian town of Stolp, where his mother became the keeper of the local Hussars Officers mess after his father died in 1901. In 1914 Grosz volunteered for military service; like many other artists, he embraced the first world war as the war to end all wars, but he was quickly disillusioned and was given a discharge after hospitalization in 1915. In January 1917 he was drafted for service, but in May he was discharged as permanently unfit.
Grosz 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. In 1921 Grosz was accused of insulting the army, which resulted in a 300 German Mark fine and the destruction of the collection Gott mit uns (God with us), a satire on German society. Grosz left the KPD in 1922 after having spent five months in Russia and meeting Lenin and Trotsky, because of his antagonism to any form of dictatorial authority.
Bitterly anti-Nazi, Grosz left Germany shortly before Hitler came to power. In June 1932, he accepted an invitation to teach the summer semester at the Art Students League of New York. In October 1932, Grosz returned to Germany, but on January 12, 1933 he and his family emigrated to America. Grosz became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1938, and made his home in Bayside, New York. He taught at the Art Students League intermittently until 1955.
In America, Grosz determined to make a clean break with his past, and changed his style and subject matter. He continued to exhibit regularly, and in 1946 he published his autobiography.

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