Archive for the ‘caricature’ Category

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Caricature: George Grosz- The Hanging Judge of Art

George Grosz Caricatures

My Drawings expressed my despair, hate and disillusionment, I drew drunkards; puking men; men with clenched fists cursing at the moon. . . . I drew a man, face filled with fright, washing blood from his hands. . . I drew lonely little men fleeing madly through empty streets. I drew a cross-section of tenement house: through one window could be seen a man attacking his wife; through another, two people making love; from a third hung a suicide with body covered by swarming flies. I drew soldiers without noses; war cripples with crustacean-like steel arms; two medical soldiers putting a violent infantryman into a strait-jacket made of a horse blanket. . . I drew a skeleton dressed as a recruit being examined for military duty. I also wrote poetry. -Grosz

George Grosz Caricatures

During the first decades of the 20th Century in Europe, the dividing lines between commercial art and fine art did not exist. Easel painters would doodle caricatures in the street and submit political cartoons to satirical magazines like Le Rire in France and Jugend in Germany. All of these various genres of art fell under the domain of the “artist” and no genre was seen as superior to any other.

George Grosz Caricatures

One of the most gifted artists to come out of Weimar era Germany was George Grosz. Grosz drew cartoons and caricatures for “Simplicissimus”, as well as earning acclaim for his expressionist paintings. Caricature was part and parcel of his style, no matter what genre he worked in.

George Grosz Caricatures

In Grosz’s Germany, everything and everybody is for sale. All human transactions, except for the class solidarity of the workers, are poisoned. The world is owned by four breeds of pig: the capitalist, the officer, the priest and the hooker, whose other form is the sociable wife. He was one of the hanging judges of art. -Robert Hughes

George Grosz Caricatures

The war was a mirror; it reflected man’s every virtue and every vice, and if you looked closely, like an artist at his drawings, it showed up both with unusual clarity. -Grosz

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DRAWINGS

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George Grosz BookGeorge Grosz Book



The best book on the work of George Grosz currently available is George Grosz: Berlin-New York. You can order it from Amazon. There are many, many fantastic drawings and paintings in this book.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Editorial Cartoons: Arthur Szyk The New Order

Arthur Szyk was born in Poland and began painting at the age of four. He studied art in Paris until the outbreak of World War I, when he travelled East to study Mohammedan art. In 1914, he joined the Russian army, and later served as an officer in a guerrilla regiment in the Polish army. He married in 1921 and moved back to Paris, where he lived and painted until 1931. Szyk received many important commissions during this time… He illuminated the Covenant of the League of Nations, painted a series of miniatures dealing with the American Revolution that hangs in the White House, and spent three years working on an illumination of the Haggadah, the story of the Jews’ flight from Egypt which was dedicated to the King of England.

In 1940, Szyk relocated to Canada, eventually settling in New York City in 1941. Szyk’s political cartoons, which were published in the newspaper PM, were described by art critic, Thomas Craven as being “as compact as a bomb, extraordinarily lucid in statement, firm and incisive of line, and deadly in their characterizations.” The illustrations we scanned today are from a collection of Szyk’s political cartoons called “The New Order”..

Caricature is the foundation of cartooning. It involves the exaggeration of features to highlight and focus personality traits. Szyk was a master of caricature. His ability to clearly express the arrogance, irony and evil behind the trumped up facade of civilized behavior spoke louder than words. “The New Order” is a rare book. It was ahead of its time when it was published in 1941, before the United States entered the Second World War. Animation Resources was fortunate to locate a clean copy to digitize.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Editorial CartoonsEditorial Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Editorial Cartoons.
IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Illustration: Frank Reynolds Paints Pickwick

Frank Reynolds

Frank ReynoldsFrank ReynoldsFrank Reynolds is a name that you don’t hear mentioned much when artists are discussing classic illustrators. That’s a shame, because there is a lot to learn from his work.

Reynolds was born in 1876, and gained fame for his humorous drawings in Punch, Sketch and The Illustrated London News. His specialty was caricaturization, and at the time, his drawings were described as being non-specific and even ugly. But with modern eyes, the clearness of compositions, economy of detail, and expressive caricature fit right in with what illustrators like Norman Rockwell were doing in the 40s and 50s. The books of Charles Dickens provided the perfect subject for Reynolds’ talents.

Frank Reynolds

In an article on Reynolds (available for viewing at Project Gutenberg) A.E. Johnson wrote: "It is related of Charles Dickens that the creation of many of his famous characters was inspired by a chance remark overheard in the street. A single telling sentence, uttering some quaint sentiment, perhaps in quaint idiom, would set up a train of ideas ultimately resulting, after much meditative elaboration, in a Mrs. Gamp or a Dick Swiveller. The process is not dissimilar, one imagines, from that by which the artist evolves a character sketch: with this difference, that whereas a solitary trait accidentally revealed, was to Dickens sufficient foundation upon which to construct his fanciful portrait, such studies of types as Frank Reynolds excels in must be the outcome, not of one ‘thing seen,’ but of reiterated observation of the same thing in identical or closely similar guise."

There’s a lot to know about this great artist. Project Gutenberg has posted an overview of Reynolds’ career. Check it out.

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Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.