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
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.
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.
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
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
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.