HungerArtist(s)George GroszArtist NationalityGerman (culture or style)Object Creation Date1924Medium & Supportlithograph on paperDimensions
19 1/2 in. x 13 1/16 in. ( 49.6 cm x 33.2 cm )Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel 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 TypeportraitRights
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men (male humans)
modern and contemporary art
women (female humans)