Tuesday, 22 October 2013

George Grosz: Berlin, Prostitutes,Politicians, and Profiteers


I was really glad I caught this show in my frenzied gallery dash. I admired George Grosz's draughtsmanship as a student, and it was really good to engage with it again years later in the intimate setting of the Richard Nagy Gallery. It has been 20 years since there was an exhibition dedicated to Grosz's work in the UK so it is was a good, and timely choice by whoever chose to curate this show.
George Grosz had a contempt of bourgoise life in Germany and it was this dislike, and negative experiences as a soldier in the trenches of the First World War that fuelled his artistic vision and satirical view of the German establishment. Grosz is known for his association with the Dada movement, but it was with the sexual and violent images of prostitutes and their wealthy clients in decadent 1920's Berlin that he is best known. The biting, satirical nature of the artwork is tempered by the tenderness of his drawn line. He clearly loved drawing as a medium, both to express himself artistically, and also vent his frustrations at the authorities. I was reminded of the British satirical political cartoons of Gillray, Cruikshank and Hogarth, and also of the factory workers in the work of LS Lowry in the drawing below.



This is a real gem of an exhibition for those who are interested in drawing, or a glimpse into an artists view of decadent 1920's Berlin life. Another one to definately catch again before it finishes on November 2nd. 





George Grosz Berlin: Prostitutes, Politicians and Profiteers
Until 2nd November 2013
Richard Nagy Ltd
22 Old Bond St
London W1