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GROSZ, George (1893-1959)

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GROSZ, George (1893-1959), German-American expressionist painter and illustrator. Born in Berlin, he studied art at the Royal Academy, Dres den, the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, and the Académie Colarossi, Paris, and served in the army in World War I. His first successful works were expressionist paintings, but as a leader of the Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity) movement, he turned to fiercely satirical expressionist drawings, for which he earned his reputation. Collections of these drawings, concerned with conditions in Germany at the end of World War I, appeared in Ecce homo (Behold the Man, 1922) and History of the Upper Class (1922). Republican Automatons (1920) reflects his view of modern man as a machine. An uncompromising opponent of militarism and National Socialism, Grosz was one of the first German artists to attack Hitler. Grosz went to the U. S. in 1932 and became a citizen in 1938. From about 1936 he began to work also in oils; with the approach of World War II his art became increasingly despairing. Recognized as one of the most brilliant draftsmen of his time, he was also well known as a teacher. An account of his experiences as an artist appears in his autobiography A Little Yes and a Big No (1946). He was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1954, and in 1959, shortly before his death, resettled in Berlin.

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