Oil on Canvas 1926
Grosz was an amazing painter, illustrator, and caricaturist
who combined his artistic talents with an uncompromising
radicalism. Grosz detested the bourgeoisie of Germany, and
continually attacked and mocked them with his caustic pen
exacting skill Grosz documented 1920's Germany and the rise
of fascism, until he was forced into exile by the Hitler
painting at left, Stutzen der Gesellschaft (Pillars
of Society), is a deeply sarcastic portrait of the German
front and center is a Nazi holding a beer mug and a sword,
behind this figure sit two members of the bourgeoisie, one
holding a blood stained palm leaf and the other's head opened
to expose a steaming pile of excrement. A pompous pro-Nazi
priest stands in the background, blessing the murderous
actions of the army. By
the time Grosz had painted this work in 1926, he had already
created many vitriolic denunciations of the ruling class.
had participated in the early Dada movement, founded along
with John Heartfield the
satirical magazine Die Pleite (Gone Bust), contributed illustrations
to numerous left-wing publications, and like many other
artists, joined the just formed German Communist Party (KDP).
was on a trip to the United States when the Nazis came to
power in 1933. The artist received word that the fascists
had come looking for him at his apartment and at his studio.
Grosz would not return to Germany until 1954. He died in
Berlin in 1959. In
1921, Grosz offered this advice to artists; "Come out
of your rooms, even if you find it an effort, pull down
your individual barriers, let yourselves be caught up by
the ideas of working people and help them in the struggle
against a corrupt society."