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Drawings for Esquire Magazine Made by George Grosz at Moeller Fine Art Berlin
George Grosz, The Stowaway’s Story, 1937, ink and chalk, 46 x 59 cm (18 x 23 1/3 in.), signed lower left. Esquire, March 1937, p. 86.
BERLIN.- Moeller Fine Art Berlin presents an exhibition of works of art made by George Grosz, Esq., on view from 20 April to 26 June 2010.

Between September 1936 and January 1939, Esquire: The Magazine for Men commissioned George Grosz (1893-1959) to create illustrations for articles and short stories. Moeller Fine Art Berlin exhibits 50 of these rare and never-before-seen drawings alongside the accompanying stories, highlighting a vital, though little-known aspect of the artist’s oeuvre.

In George Grosz: An Autobiography (1946), Grosz wrote, "I would have given anything to become an American illustrator, one of the chosen ones who do the pictures for short stories in popular magazines. When I was a beginner, and later in my crazy Dada or cubist days, I would sneak a look at those illustrations that stayed close to nature. They were truly something for the masses. Everybody could understand them; no explanations from grandiloquent art historians were needed. It was folk art in modern clothing, with wide distribution."

The artist got his wish. In January 1933, only two weeks before Adolf Hitler came to power, Grosz arrived in America, a land of promise and adventure far from the looming peril he had left behind in Berlin. That same year he first received contracts from the magazine Vanity Fair, followed by a full-time contract from Esquire three years later. In his autobiography, Grosz describes the latter as: “a very attractive advertisement for a clean, appetizing, super-modern country where everything was fresh and friendly and smiling in contrast to sour-faced Europe.” Esquire, founded by David A. Smart and William H. Weintraub at the height of the Depression, indeed provided a colorful, large-format magazine that targeted style-conscious, leisure-loving, middle-class men. The monthly included pieces on fashion, exotic travel, and gourmet cuisine, as well as literary and political essays by such notable authors as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Morley Callaghan.

Grosz’s first commission came in the fall of 1936 and was published in the magazine with an essay by John Dos Passos. The illustrations are biting satires on American life, exhibiting a mastery of the expressive line, a cruel wit, and a penetrating intelligence. The drawings appear here in public for the very first time.

The exhibition is realized in cooperation with the estate of the artist.

Moeller Fine Art Berlin | George Grosz | Esquire Magazine |


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