Pro and Contra


George Grosz ( American, born Germany, 1893 - 1959 )

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General Description

In his drawings, George Grosz quickly found a style that suited his caustic tone and brutal subject matter. He called this his "knife-hard style," which he claimed to have derived from bathroom graffiti and children's drawings. His embrace of a method composed of jagged linear marks and bereft of such niceties as shading was in some ways a denial of his astonishing powers as a draftsman. On the other hand, no artist less gifted with a pen could have summoned such a wealth of emotion from this limited set of means. "His drawings are full, but he does not fill them," his friend Theodor Dӓubler observed. "He spaces them with lines, with wires." In this drawing of a political debate turned brawl, the conflict of the rioting figures is described in flailing, disembodied limbs and bared teeth. Only the seated man at lower right, clutching at his scattered papers, is given any real bodily integrity, though here, too, Grosz uses line sparely and efficiently to describe the gruesome wrench of his leg and the bloody wreck of his shattered face.

Excerpt from

Heather MacDonald, Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 2012), 16-17.