On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.
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. Grosz came to America in 1933, less than a week before Hitler was appointed German Chancellor. In the United States, he was renowned as an illustrator and painter of apocalyptic visions and crowded cityscapes. His war scenes and depopulated landscapes from this time contain warnings that Germany under the rule of the Nazis would start a brutal war in Europe. What Grosz predicted in hundreds of drawings, watercolors and paintings would become a gruesome reality.
Christie’s is honored to offer the following superb selection of Grosz works on paper from an Important New York Collection. The group spans the artist’s career, including depictions of Berlin’s citizens in the years before Hitler’s appointment (see lots RL 19 and RL 18 and RL 259), biting social commentary (see lots RL 14 and RL 15), and apocalyptic visions from his years in America (see lots RL 17 and RL 16). This collection provides the opportunity to closely study the work of an obsessive observer who mercilessly captured and skillfully depicted all that his eye and imagination suggested.
We would like to thank Ralph Jentsch for his assistance in cataloguing these works.
Property from an Important New York Collection