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Between and Mortarboard


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Hunger

Accession Number
1957/1.105

Title
Hunger

Artist(s)
George Grosz

Artist Nationality
German (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1924

Medium & Support
lithograph on paper

Dimensions
19 1/2 in. x 13 1/16 in. ( 49.6 cm x 33.2 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
The key qualities that Grosz sought to embody in his art were “hardness, brutality, [and] clarity that hurts!” He is best known for his caustic caricatures attacking German militarism and bourgeois excess during the Weimar period between the two World Wars. Between 1920 and 1924, he was one of the most widely publicized young artists in Germany, regularly discussed in major periodicals. The inflammatory nature of his satires at times prompted government censure. He was able to capitalize on the inflation-era frenzy for print collecting over painting by publishing sets of his polemical prints for both collectors and the working class.
Hunger comments on the unequal effects of the economic downturn as a result of widening class divisions: the poorer and middle-income people struggle for basic subsistence while the wealthy manage to maintain their luxurious lifestyle.

Subject matter
In the years following World War I in Germany, many poorer and middle income people, who had already suffered deprivation during the war, struggled for basic subsistence in a time of deep economic crisis, with runaway inflation and growing class differences. The more wealthy managed to stay well off, and this piece highlights both the deprivation of the poor and the highly visible socio-economic inequality that meant that others had plenty.

Physical Description
This sparely executed lithograph depicts, from left to right, a young boy, an aged man in a hat, and an aged woman in a shawl looking at the food on display in a shop window, bananas, cheese, sausage, and wine, among other items.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Primary Object Type
portrait

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Expressionism
boys
food
grocery stores
men (male humans)
modern and contemporary art
standing
stores
transfer lithography
window
windows
women (female humans)

12 Related Resources

All Artists in the Degenerate Art Show
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Apocalypses
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Berlin in the first half of the twentieth century
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Fatherhood
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Food Cultures
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
New Objectivity
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Poverty
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
The Modern Metropolis
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Satire--General
(Part of: Caricature and Visual Satire)
Grosz--For Study [GM]
(Part of: Caricature and Visual Satire)
Essay: Bouguereau
(Part of: Docent Essays on UMMA Collection Objects)

& Author Notes

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