The artist George Grosz (1893–1959) is considered one of the most important political satirists of the Weimar Republic: he was prosecuted three times, for slandering the army, offending public morality, and blasphemy. In this exhibition, art from the Berlin period that so provoked his contemporaries will be presented in detail. But the show will also feature Grosz’s less well-known photography with his impressions and experiences from his passage to America and his arrival in New York. Another less-known facet of his work as a costume and stage set designer will also be spotlighted.
The exhibition will present over 200 works from Berlin museums and private collections, Berlin art dealers, and the artist’s estate, located in Berlin, most of which are not otherwise accessible to the public. Grosz, whose work would be inconceivable without the Revolution in 1918 and the disturbances of the Weimar Republic, is presented as one of the most important Berlin artists of the 1920s. His works created in Berlin are a mirror of the political and social issues of the day. But in New York exile as well, the political events taking place under Nazi rule continued to dominate his work.
In this retrospective, which was organized in close collaboration with the George Grosz Estate, the artist’s well-known works are shown alongside works that are less familiar. Since the last large scale exhibition of the artist’s work in Berlin almost 25 years ago, this exhibition provides the opportunity to trace out Grosz’s artistic development, showing the thematic and stylistic diversity that marks the artist’s work. What is art or satire is allowed to do? What is political art, was Grosz a political artist his whole life long? These questions are explored in the exhibition, part of the Berlin thematic winter 100 Years of Revolution: Berlin 1918|19. The exhibition shows the artistic potential of Grosz available in this city, also with the possible establishment of a George Grosz Museum in Berlin in mind.