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George Grosz
"The Convict": Monteur John Heartfield after Franz Jungs Attempt to Get Him Up on His Feet ("Der Sträfling": Monteur John Heartfield nach Franz Jungs Versuch, ihn auf die Beine zu stellen)
1920
Watercolor, ink, pencil, and cut-and-pasted printed paper on paper

16 1/2 x 12 inches
Gift of A. Conger Goodyear

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art:


George Grosz, (1893-1959)
"The Convict": Monteur John Heartfield after Franz Jungs Attempt to Get Him Up on His Feet ("Der Sträfling": Monteur John Heartfield nach Franz Jungs Versuch, ihn auf die Beine zu stellen), 1920

The title of this dual portrait refers to the artist’s close friend and collaborator John Heartfield, while the face is that of Grosz himself. The figure’s uniform and the drab, spartan surroundings suggest a sanatorium, where both artists spent time: Heartfield in 1915, after having feigned a nervous breakdown during his military service and Grosz in 1917, after having suffered or simulated mental instability just one month after he was drafted. Pasted fragments of a postcard, including the words "Good luck in [your] new home," serve as a window for the tiny cell. Franz Jung, referred to in the title, was an expressionist writer and founding member of Club Dada.

Gallery label from Dada, June 18–September 11, 2006


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George Grosz, German, (1893-1959)
b. July 26, 1893, Berlin
d. 1959

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