George Grosz (1883-1959)
Sich Entkleidende (Undressing Nude)
Référence : MA184
Aquarelle sur papier
29 cm x 39,9 cm
Certificat : JENTSCH, Ralph, dated 18 December 2012.
Zone Geographique : Europe
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This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of Works on paper by George Grosz prepared by Ralph Jentsch. George Grosz executed the majority of his erotic works after his immigration to the United States when he began depicting his wife Eva in a variety of erotic and sexually charged poses and situations. In this context, the "Undressing Nude" is a more classic motive, a side- and back-view of a naked woman that is in the process of taking off her clothes. Grosz' wife Eva herself initially did not want to pose as a model for her husband's drawings and likely was only persuaded over time by her more promiscuous sister Lotte. The initial timidness and shyness as well as her intimacy with her husband is transported quite beautifully in this drawing. George Grosz is born on July 26, 1893 in Berlin where his father was running a tavern in the city center. After his studies at the Royal Art Academy in Dresden (1909-11) and the Berlin School of Arts and Crafts (1912-14), Grosz briefly enlists as an infantryman before being discharged as "unfit" in 1915. One year later, he changes his German name Georg Gross to George Grosz. In 1916, he paints his first major work, "Metropolis," - which the Mannheim Art Museum purchases in 1924 and which then is exhibited as "Degenerate Art" in 1937 - followed by "Germany - A Winter's Tale" in 1918. In 1920, he participates in the "First International DADA-Fair" and is sued for the first time by the federal government for "Insults of the Military" based on his drawings "God Be With Us". Two years later he travels to Russia, upon his return, however, he leaves the Communist Party in Germany. In 1923, he is once again sued, this time for the "Distribution of Obscenities". Alfred Flechtheim signs him to his gallery roster. In 1926, Grosz finishes his major work "Pillars of Society", one year later the Prussian Academy of Fine Arts shows a solo exhibition of his work. Once again, in 1928, Grosz is sued by the federal government because of his art, this time for blasphemy. In 1932, the New York Art Students League invites Grosz to teach at its art school which allows George Grosz to leave Germany and immigrate to the United States in January of 1933. He receives the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1937 and receives American citizenship in 1938 after his expatriation from Germany in March of the same year. In 1939, Grosz receives the Watson F. Blair Price of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Carol H. Beck Medal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1941, the Museum of Modern Art in New York shows an exhaustive retrospective. In 1946, Grosz publishes his autobiography "A Small Yes and a Big No" which is published in German only nine years later. He is voted one of the ten most important contemporary American artists in 1947. In 1951, he returns to Europe for the first time after World War II and visits Paris, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Frankfurt, Basel, Florenz, Munich, Wiesbaden and Amsterdam. He returns to Germany in 1959 after the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin made him an Extraordinary Member in 1958. His last award in the United States is the Gold Medal in Graphic Arts by the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Only a few weeks after his return to Germany, George Grosz died on July 5th of a heart attack. 1954 : Ernennung zum Mitglied der „American Academy of Arts and Letters“ in New York. 1958 : Die Nationalgalerie Berlin erwirbt das Werk „Die Stützen der Gesellschaft“. Grosz wird zum außerordentlichen Mitglied der Akademie der Künste zu Berlin. 1959 : Das National Institute of Arts and Letters verleiht Grosz die Goldmedaille für Graphic Art. Am 28. Mai kehrt Grosz mit seiner Familie nach Deutschland zurück und bezieht eine Wohnung in Berlin. Er stirbt nur wenige Wochen später am 5. Juli an einem Herzschlag.
George Grosz, Beate Uhse International, Flensburg, 2 April 1998 - 29 September 1998, p. 24 (reprod. in color).
Studio of the Artist; Private Collection; Kunsthandel Hagemeier; Private Collection.