• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12146

    Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper Sale

    17 November 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1051

    George Grosz (1893-1959)

    Ein Wähler, Spiessertyp

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    George Grosz (1893-1959)
    Ein Wähler, Spiessertyp
    titled 'ein Wähler Spiessertyp' (lower right); with Nachlass stamp (on the reverse)
    pencil on paper
    23 5/8 x 18 1/8 in. (60 x 46.1 cm.)
    Drawn in 1929


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    Ralph Jentsch has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

    Lots 1051-1053 are costume designs for Carl Sternheim's Der Kandidat, based on Gustave Flaubert's Le Candidat from 1873. The play was performed at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin on 27 January 1930. Grosz’s fascination with all aspects of the electoral process are displayed in his treatment of the four archetypes presented here. Sternheim and Grosz were both keen observers with a caustic, bitter temperament and by exaggerating certain features they produced parody and highly stylized social criticism.

    Provenance

    Estate of the artist.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    The work of George Grosz, the revered chronicler of life in decadent Berlin, provides a multi-faceted and complex vision of German society between the collapse of the monarchy in 1918 and Hitler’s rise to power 14 years later. His oeuvre is an essential contribution to our understanding of life in the German capital during a turbulent, fateful moment in history.
    From 1916 onwards, Grosz had an increasing interest in American culture, in the face of what he felt was a war-torn European decadence. Grosz permanently moved to America in 1933, less than a week before Hitler was appointed German Chancellor. The following selection of drawings by Grosz, executed between 1923 and 1934, tell the story of Grosz leaving Germany and becoming an American, and more widely represent the cultural migration from Europe to the United States in the middle of the 20th century.