George Grosz was a painter and a caricaturist. Born in Berlin, Germany, and trained in Dresden (1909–11), Berlin (1911), and Paris (1913), he came to this country in 1932 and settled here the following year. Grosz’s caricatures began to be printed as early as 1910. In 1918 he joined the Berlin Dada group and during the next decade illustrated magazines and designed sets for the theater. His mordant comments on German society, as in the Ecce Homo series (1922), created problems with the government and ultimately caused him to leave the country.
After his arrival in the United States, Grosz tried to adapt to the American scene by painting many views of New York City. His satirical works were replaced by nightmare visions and scenes of the brutality of warfare. He adopted Baroque oil-painting technique as well as a quasi-surrealistic interest in strangely juxtaposed objects (Peace II, 1946, WMAA).
In 1947–48, he introduced the “Stickman” theme, in which lumpy figures on sticklike legs engage in nightmarish activity. His autobiography, A Little Yes and a Big No, appeared in 1946.
Hans Hess, George Grosz, 1974.