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Stephen Kroninger
Grosz in America
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Lower Manhattan/New York I, 1934, oil on canvas
I've long been a champion of George Grosz' New York work which I've always felt was too easily dismissed. One of my first Drawger posts was a collection of street scene watercolors he painted for a 1930s issue of Vanity Fair. Though his reputation will always rest on the Berlin work, if you look at his New York period with fresh eyes you may find much to admire.
I decided to do this post after stumbling across this catalog during a recent visit to a bookstore. I had no idea it existed. I completely missed the recent exhibit at David Nolan. Consider this an art consumer alert.
"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."
photo: Stanley Kubrick


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