George Grosz

George Grosz is born Georg Ehrenfried Gross on July 26 in Berlin. His father runs a pub in the center of the city, off the busy Friedrichstrasse.

The family moves to Stolp in Pomerania, where Georg’s father is steward at the Freemasons’ Lodge. The boy’s imagination is fired by the illustrations in Über Land und Meer, Fliegende Blätter, Meggendorfer Blätter, Leipziger Illustrierte, and other weekly magazines subscribed to by the family.

When Georg’s father dies, the family returns to Berlin, settling in the workers’ district of Wedding.

The family moves back to Stolp, where Georg enjoys a carefree childhood.

The twelve-year-old Georg fills a first sketchbook with drawings after Ludwig Richter, Eduard GrĂĽtzner, and Wilhelm Busch.

Grosz is admitted to the Royal Art Academy in Dresden, graduating two years later with a certificate of Honor from the Royal Saxon Academy of Fine Art, Dresden.

In January he moves to Berlin, occupying an apartment with studio in the SĂĽdende district. Studies under Emil Orlik.

During an eight-month stay in Paris he learns to produce life drawings every five minutes at the Académie Colarossi.

Awarded second prize in a competition held by the Royal Museum of Arts and Crafts in Berlin. Enters military service in World War I, but is discharged the following year as ???unfit for service“.

Disgusted with war-waging Germany, he anglicizes his name to George Grosz. Theodor Däubler publishes the first article on Grosz’s work. Grosz and John Heartfield begin collaborating on montages. In December Grosz starts work on Metropolis (Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid), a painting constructed along the lines of a collage.

Enters the military again, but is eventually discharged as ???permanently unfit for service.“ In June Grosz and Heartfield produce Neue Jugend (New Youth), a joint montage combinig collage, photographs, and lettering that serves to advertise the Kleine Grosz Mappe (Little Grosz Portfolio).

Moves into a studio at Nassauische Strasse 4, where he remains until his emigration to the U.S.A. in 1933. Produces a large painting with collaged elements titled Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen (Germany: A Winter’s Tale, whereabouts unknown).

Produces DADA collage Ein Opfer der Gesellschaft - Remember Uncle August, the Unhappy Inventor (A victim of Society - Remember Uncle August, the Unhappy Inventor; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris), which is shown the following year at the first DADA fair along with Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen.

The First International DADA Fair takes place in Berlin. Among the more than 170 exhibits are collages produced individually and jointly by Grosz and Heartfield.

Travels in the Soviet Union for five month. His experiences there cause him to leave the Communist Party, which he had joined in 1918. Malik Verlag publishes Mit Pinsel und Schere: 7 Materialisationen (With Brushes and Scissors: 7 Materializations), a portfolio of reproductions of Grosz’s collages. Postcards collaged by the artists figure increasingly in his correspondence.

In this and the following year he travels in France, paying several visits to Paris.

Spends six months on the French Riviera, first at La Pointe Rouge near Marseille, then at Cassis-sur-Mer.

Creates a large number of stage designs, watercolors, drawings, and images for blackcloth projections in connection with a production of Jaroslav Hasek’s The Good Soldier Schwejk at the Piscator-Bühne in Berlin. Accused of blasphemy as a result of three works published in the portfolio Hintergrund (Background); he is finally acquitted in 1931 at a fifth court hearing. He had already been compelled to answer charges of ???insulting the Reichswehr“ (1920) and ???circulating obscene literature“ (1923).

Visits New York for the first time, to teach at the Art Students League. Produces a large number of collages, two of which are published in Vanity Fair.

Settles in New York, leaving Germany a few days before the Nazis come to power. Continues to teach at the private art school he had set up in 1932 and the first of hundreds of opponents of the Nazi regime to be deprived of his German citizenship.

Commissioned by Esquire magazine to produce illustrations, principally for articles by American authors. To assist him in his career as an illustrator he starts quarrying American magazines for images of everyday objects and scenes.

Uses illustrations in the latest issues of the monthly magazine produced by German publishers Velhagen & Klasing as the basis of political collages (now in the Stiftung Archiv Akademie der KĂĽnste, Berlin).

Wieland Herzfelde begins putting together albums (whereabouts unknown) of the more than ten thousand magazine cuttings collected by Grosz, arranging the images by subject. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, honors the artist with a retrospective, which travels throughout the U.S.

Dial Press, New York, publishes his autobiography A Little Yes and a Big No.

An inquiry conducted among museum directors and at critics in the U.S. ranks Grosz among the ten most important American artists. He receives many awards and honors, but his financial situation remains precarious. The AAA Gallery, New York, mounts the first major exhibition of Stick-Men.

Produces The Musterbook: Textures (Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der KĂĽnste, Berlin), a volume of collages made from hundreds of color illustrations from U.S. magazines.

Made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, mounts a major retrospective of his work.

Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburg, publishes Ein Kleines Ja und ein grosses Nein, the German edition of  his autobiography.

James Rosenquist, later a leading Pop artist, begins studying under Grosz at the Arts Students League.

Works intensively in collage. By June he has produced over forty ???montages“, as he calls them.

Settles in Berlin again. On July 6 dies of heart failure in the home of his parants-in-law on Savignyplatz. He is buried next to Theodor Däubler in the Heerstrasse cemetery in Charlottenburg.

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