seated man with a grey overcoat drawn around him, with a helmet (?) over his PL knee, at left, in a ruined brick building; two figures seen from back--one seated wearing a blue shirt, one standing wearing a red shirt with PR arm around shoulders of figure in blue shirt, in URQ

© Estate of George Grosz %2F Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C NY

Remembering, 1937

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Oil on canvasexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  2017.107

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George Grosz made this self-portrait following a visit to his native Germany in 1936. Grosz shivers in the shell of a ruined building, replaying images in his mind, which we see behind him. He had moved to the United States in 1932 to escape the rise of Fascism in Europe and to teach. During his return trip, Grosz witnessed the gravity of Nazi persecution in his home country, and he made this image to express his anxiety about the situation. He was haunted by what he saw, and he felt visited by premonitions of the future—World War II (1939–45). Years later he reflected on the impulse behind such images. “I could not explain exactly what was really troubling me. But after I had returned to the States, my paintings became prophetic. I was compelled by an inner warning to paint destruction and ruins; some of my paintings I called ‘Apocalyptic Landscapes,’ though that was quite some time before the real thing took place.” Grosz had been an early and forceful critic of the Nazi Party, and from his vantage point as an exile in 1937 anticipated its reign of terror.

Details
Title
Remembering
Artist Life
German (active United States), 1893 - 1959
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2017.107
Curator Approved

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seated man with a grey overcoat drawn around him, with a helmet (?) over his PL knee, at left, in a ruined brick building; two figures seen from back--one seated wearing a blue shirt, one standing wearing a red shirt with PR arm around shoulders of figure in blue shirt, in URQ

© Estate of George Grosz / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

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