Grosz spent his childhood in Pomerania and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden and the School of Decorative Arts in Berlin. From the age of eighteen he was a prolific draftsman, appearing in the review Die neue Jugend in 1915. His drawings were presented in two albums published in 1916 and 1917 by the publishing firm Malik, and the "Grosz style," with its contemptuous irony, was immediately identified. During the First World War, Grosz was discharged for "mental confusion," owing to his nihilist ideas, and in 1917 he joined with the Dadaists. Grosz was nicknamed the "Propagandada" of the group and was put in charge of coining provocative slogans that were printed on stickers to be affixed to walls, for example: "Dada today, Dada tomorrow, Dada forever!" and "Come to Dada if you like being embraced and embarrassed." He once strolled the streets of Berlin wearing a death's-head mask and carrying a sign that parodied the national anthem: "Dada, Dada über AIles!" Fanatically negating everything, Grosz depicted the tragedy of life, Expressing himself mostly in caricatures, he sought to denounce the evil instincts of man and the vices of bourgeois society. In 1922 he produced his masterpiece, Ecce Homo, a collection of drawings and watercolors shrieking with obscenities in a prodigious graphic raving. The work was seized by the authorities and Grosz was arraigned before the Third Magistrates' Court in Berlin. In 1932, invited to teach at the Art Students League in New York, he decided to settle in the United States. In 1936 he began experimenting with oils, having done few paintings up to then. Grosz made his own brushes and mixed sand, wax and even Coca-Cola with his colors. He tried to paint nudes, landscapes of dunes and in-sects, but, overcome with pessimism, he mostly painted skeletons, death dances, ruins and images of mankind's self-destruction. Between 1947 and 1949 he did a series of "stickmen," titled Clowns of the Apocalypse. Threadlike figures, the stickmen were "enemies of the rainbow," that sought to invade the world. During this period, as in his Dada period, his nightmarish scenes reflect a surrealist mood. Andre Breton presented a painting by Grosz, The Funeral of Oscar Panizza, in 1965, at the Eleventh International Exhibition of Surrealism, L'Écart Absolu, in Paris.  

George Grosz

Born 1893 and died 1959 in Berlin

The Eclipse of the Sun, Oil on Canvas, 1926