Love above All and Other Drawings

( 1 )

Overview

The locale of these 120 brilliantly satiric drawings is that of Berlin in the 1920s, but a most remarkable thing about them is their startling contemporaneity. We have to keep reminding ourselves that they were not drawn in New York, London, and Paris of the twenty-first century but in the sensation-hungry, inflation-fed milieu of the Weimar Republic.
"On an Expense Account," for example, shows a well-fed businessman and his wife. We see only his back and neck, note her ...

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More About This Book

Overview

The locale of these 120 brilliantly satiric drawings is that of Berlin in the 1920s, but a most remarkable thing about them is their startling contemporaneity. We have to keep reminding ourselves that they were not drawn in New York, London, and Paris of the twenty-first century but in the sensation-hungry, inflation-fed milieu of the Weimar Republic.
"On an Expense Account," for example, shows a well-fed businessman and his wife. We see only his back and neck, note her tastelessly modish skirts, and we know the whole story. "Total Devotion from 5:00 to 7:00" is a cocktail-bar scene, and in the dancing of the slick-haired man and the posture of his partner there is something depraved because it is only sensual. "Lunch" depicts a matron with unmistakably porcine features holding knife and fork affectedly as she swills. Her dining partner needs no animalization; the blasé bag below his eye, the expression, and the fold below his chin are enough.
Can prostitutes, contrary to sentimental folklore, appear smug, bloated with satisfaction, and wallowing in cheap gratification? See "Transit Trade" to realize the effects of mindless materialism. Schiller wrote, "Swim if you can and if you are too weak, sink." Grosz takes this as his text for a compelling contrast between rich and poor in just two figures that completely refute the Übermensch doctrine. Hemingway in Nada did not depict more tellingly the utter despair of empty lives in the hour when the café closes than does Grosz in "They Don't Sing Any More." Love Above All? We are only partway through this portfolio when we realize suddenly how bitterly sarcastic is the title.
But the mordant eye, angry wit, and social consciences of Grosz were shared by many of his period. What lifts his art above the transient event is his supremely eloquent use of pen and brush. No one has more expressively, piercingly, and economically, drawn the scenes of his special civilization—so strangely like ours—than did George Grosz.
Dover unabridged republication of Über alles di Liebe and Die Gezeichneten, both Berlin, 1930.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486226750
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 1/17/2012
  • Series: Dover Fine Art, History of Art Series
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,063,592
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Great example of how the mind fills in detail

    The cover is a good example of the rest of the book. These are line drawings with little detail drawn in. What makes the drawings special is that the artist has the ability to include just enough detail that the mind fills in the rest. Details such as clothing, hair and architecture are easily imagined. There is one street scene with a dog being walked. Only the front half of the dog is drawn, the back legs being suggested by small lines. Yet the entire dog is seen.

    The scenes depicted are the decadence of 1930's Berlin. There is much nudity and suggestions of sexual activity. With the book cover again being a good example. Every drawing suggest a story waiting to be filled in. The artist is a caricaturist with the essence of his subjects drawn.

    That is the reason that I purchased this book. I am a member of Toastmasters International, the public speaking and leadership group. In a speech that I listened to the speaker mentions a little girl nuzzling into her father's flannel shirt. He then ask, "What color was the shirt?" The shirt color is never named but people listening to the speech filled in that detail. I am taking this concept further by using this book as a basis for speeches in which many more details than a shirt color can be filled in by the mind of the listener.

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