- George Grosz (born Georg Ehrenfried Gross in Berlin 1893) visited a school attached to the Museum of Applied Arts in Berlin and studied with the art nouveau designer Emil Orlik. In November 1914 Gross enlisted in the military in Berlin, but six months later released for medical reasons. In 1915 Gross met John Heartfield and Wieland Herzfelde. In the same year he also published a poem and an illustration in Franz Pfemfert's journal Die Aktion.
- In an antinationalist protest in 1916 Georg Gross changed his name to George Grosz. In 1917, thanks to the interventions of the diplomat and arts patron Count Harry Kessler, Grosz worked with Heartfield at the Military Educational Film Service (later called UFA) producing animated propaganda films. In that year Herzfelde's publishing company Malik Verlag produced the Erste George Grosz-Mappe and the Kleine Grosz-Mappe, two collections of critical lithographs. Grosz, Herzfelde, and Heartfield joined the German Communist Party at, or just after, the First Party Congress, December 30, 1918-January 1, 1919. Grosz also joined the leftist artists' group Novembergruppe in the same year.
- In addition to caricatures, Grosz' work during the Dada period included the production of photomontages in collaboration with Heartfield as well as satirical journals. In 1919 Grosz cofounded the satirical magazine Jedermann sein eigner Fussball with Herzfelde. Authorities banned its further appearance. Undeterred, Grosz and Herzfelde began work on Die Pleite, which was published until January 1920. Grosz' first one-man show was launched in Munich in April 1920, and a month later, he participated in the International Dada Fair and married Eva Peter. In April 1920 Grosz and Heartfield published an article called 'Der Kunstlump' in Der Gegner, which provoked intense public debates about fine art and revolution. In June 1920, Malik Verlag published Grosz' portfolio Gott mit uns, for which Grosz and Herzfelde were later charged and fined for insulting the German army. This would be the first of three trials in the early 1920s against Grosz on the grounds of public offense.
- After Dada, Grosz became increasingly involved in German Communist Party activities. With the advent of the Nazi regime, Grosz settled permanently with his family in the United States. George Grosz died on July 6, 1959, shortly after his return to Berlin.
- TEXT CREDITS
More extensively with Sabine T. Kriebel, 'George Grosz', published in Leah Dickerman (ed.), Dada. Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris (National Gallery of Art : Washington DC 2005) 471-472 and online available at Dada biographies: George Grosz, an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. The article is translated in French and published in Dada / Catalogue publié sous la direction de Laurent Le Bon (Éditions du centre Pompidou : Paris 2005) 444-445.
- IMAGE CREDITS
George Grosz, 1921 [Collection George-Grosz-Archiv, Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künste, Berlin]
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