View of Manhattan


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

c. 1936–1940
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General Description

George Grosz's flight from Germany in 1933 did not insulate him from the encroaching chill of war. Alive to the political circumstances in which he had found himself, Grosz made a show of abandoning the political engagement of his earlier work in favor of a new "humanisme," [1] as he termed it, a new subject matter: city views of Manhattan, Cape Cod landscapes, and nudes. This new subject matter, together with Grosz's dogged refusal to assist in any activities that he saw as merely propagandistic or motivated by party interest, struck many of his old Berlin circle as a retreat. In America he began to espouse a more absolute apoliticism and a more sweeping rejection of political satire as a viable artistic language.

[1] Grosz to Marc Sandler, March 10, 1950, no. 801, George Grosz Archive: cited in Sketchbooks of George Grosz, 127.

Adapted from

Heather MacDonald, Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 2012), 22-23