Published by Hayward Gallery Publishing. Essay by Lutz Becker.
Inspired by the same society that gave rise to Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin stories and novels, the drawings in George Grosz: The Big No present a caustic, comic view of Germany in the troubled years of the Weimar Republic. Ranging from primitive and graffiti-like drawings to complex Futurist street scenes with teeming crowds of overlapping figures, this collection shows Grosz at the height of his satirical powers, through the works from his largest portfolio, Ecce Homo. Pimps, black-marketeers, prostitutes, demobbed soldiers and the nouveau-riche rub shoulders in drawings of razor-sharp acuity and technical precision. Also included are the powerful, anti-militarist Hintergrund drawings, originally published in 1928 to accompany Erwin Piscator’s production of The Good Soldier Schwejk, which resulted in criminal charges being brought against Grosz for “blasphemy and defamation of the German military.” George Grosz: The Big No is an essential guide to one of the twentieth century’s most important satirists.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Heike Fuhlbrügge, Ralph Jentsch, Jürg Judin, Barbara McCloskey.
The Dada caricaturist, draughtsman and painter George Grosz (1893-1959) spent more than half of his creative career--27 years--living and working in the United States. The effects of this emigration upon his art were once widely deemed to be wholly negative, since it seemingly marked a rejection of aggressively political satire: "I had simply lost all interest in human weaknesses and individual foibles," wrote Grosz in his autobiography, "and the further I drew away from them, the closer I felt to nature." Grosz was particularly passionate about the art of watercolor--so much so that shortly before his death in 1959 he began to write a book on watercolor technique--and his innovations in this area, alongside his caricatures of New York life and his more apocalyptic war paintings, have at last been retreived from the respective shadows of Grosz's own earlier work and of American Abstract Expressionism, which reigned supreme during Grosz's American years. This is the first book devoted to this crucial phase in his life.