Self-Portrait BY GEORGE GROSZ
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, Thomas Craven began a chapter on George Grosz in
Modern Art with these words: “He will tell you, in his quiet way, that there are
numy Groszes; he will 1ay this with scrupulous modesty, with a selfless ideal
containing no egoism.
One Grosz is in the cellar, skeptical and faithless, buried
in the litter of a senseless world; one is a romantic tender, a Gothic visionary
in line and verse, treasuring sentimentally in distant lands the memories of a.
happy boyhood in the Fatherland.
There is the terrible Grosz whose fame has
gone around the world-the scourge of Junter; the most explicit and pitiless
satirist of the social habits of man since Swift. There is yet another Grosz:
methodical and humorous, domestic, unafraid of bourgeois emotions, in
cessantly industrious and very kindly-the Grosz you may meet one day
among the riffraff of Sixth Avenue, or prowling in Central Park, notebook in
hand, observing the aimless vitality of unoccupied Americans.”
And here is Grosz’s portrait of himself-of Germany’s greatest artist of
this century. He sits here blandly thinking about life and art, puffing on his
pipe and holding his little dog in his lap.