George Grosz. To Oskar Panizza. 1917
Oil on canvas. 140 x 110 cm.
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.
In 1917, Grosz joined with John Heartfield in protesting about the German wartime propaganda campaign against the allies. This included anti-war drawings such as Fit for Active Service (1918), in which a well-fed doctor pronounces a skeleton fit for duty.
After the Armistice Grosz was active in left-wing politics and contributed to communist journals published by Malik-Verlag. He also joined with artists such as John Heartfield, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Kurt Schwitters to form the German Dada group. Grosz’s drawings often attacked members of the government and important business leaders. Grosz was taken to court several times but although heavily fined, managed to escape imprisonment. Grosz’s collected drawings, The Face of the Ruling Class (1921) and Ecce Homo (1927), earned him an international reputation as a politically committed artist.