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The Berlin of George Grosz: Drawings, Watercolours and Prints, 1912-1930 Hardcover – July 21, 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

This volume demonstrates how brilliantly Grosz caught the life, and more importantly the feverish imagination, of a city and a nation in a particularly turbulent time. Marrying the jumpy lines and figural distortions of cubism to narrative subjects and an angry sense of morality, he illuminated the tawdry, often violent, lives of Berlin's down-and-out, its powerbrokers, and its murderers, during the chaotic Weimar years of the 1920s, in corrosive, unsettling, kinetic images. The drawings and prints of drunken prostitutes and their leering customers, calm murderers inspecting the bodies of their victims, fat businessmen and their voluptuous mistresses, prim bourgeoisie and exhausted workers, and mutilated ex-soldiers, are complemented here by some of Grosz's less familiar, and equally disturbing, watercolors. Whitford, a former lecturer in art history at Cambridge, provides a useful introduction to Grosz's life and times, and detailed and very helpful annotations to the artwork. A superb overview of a unique career. (139 b&w and 54 color illustrations) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.


Few artists have truly defined an era. George Grosz, the great truth-teller of Weimar Germany and the early Nazi years, came as close as any.... Though full of dark humor, many of the images retain their power to shock. -- The New York Times Book Review, Ted Loos

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First edition (July 21, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300072066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300072068
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 10.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,745,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For many years, while giving several of my libraries to charities, as I moved from one to another working site, I clung to my copy of George Grosz's Ecce Homo, his early portfolio of drawings and watercolors in book form. I still have it, along with the growing bookshelf of books with and about his art.
While he did much other work in Germany and in the United States, to which he emigrated, while he was much respected by the American artists with whom he associated in his exile, it is still the politically inspired art for which he is best known and for which he is, and will be, best remembered.
While Otto Dix surpassed him in his articulation of the horrors of World War 1, having been through almost every moment of it as a combat machine gunner and leader of a machine gun squad, and Max Beckmann commanded far more respect for his penetrating insight and command of the tools of art in years further beyond those of the early Weimar period, neither they nor anyone else surpassed Grosz in biting visual commentary on the political scene of the post-war period. While a master of the graphic and watercolor arts, Grosz never reached the same level of skill or insight in his paintings. In that, Beckmann was his superior.
Without making comparison with the other major books available on his career, I am confident that one who seeks familiarity with that period of his life's work as well as the beginnings of his less vituperative career, will find ample reward in this volume.
Frank Whitford skillfully draws together strands of his life and personality useful in the effort to understand him but excels in the brief commentaries accompanying each drawing, print and watercolor. The pictures are quite good and are amply illustrative of the tenor of his approach.
Regrettably, the price of a new copy has multiplied exponentially in recent years, but, hopefully, decent copies are available at the lesser prices shown this date on Amazon.
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Format: Hardcover
After I had bought the Hans Hess , Herbert Bittner,Serge Sabarsky ,Beth Lewis Books, I bought this book as it was one of the first books to discuss and illustrate Grosz's work in theater. His drawings put him in the satirical art classification.But his work in theater was less traditional ,and it is here that he must be remembered as a Dadaist.Duchamp of course is best known as a dadaist..for his urinal for one. Hans Arp is always listed as the dadaist in the crossword puzzles.The Zurich (Arp for one) group is different than the Berlin group and the New York Dadaist such as Duchamp.The recent Skira book on Grosz has reproductions of Grosz's work in theater but the color reproductions are about equal in quality.This is a good book on Grosz but ,not as comprehensive as the Grosz New York - Berlin catalogue of the exhibition held in Rome Italy. Sorry ,it is higher in price!
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