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George Grosz, "Among Other Things, a Word for German Tradition" (1931)

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Now, in order not to be misunderstood, I in no way mean here an art program à la Schultze-Naumburg. [ . . . ] When I say “German,” I do not mean those neat little painters, devoted more or less to kitsch and pleasing the public, who are always parading their softly agreeable, pathetically vague way of dressing things up as “German.” These salon painter sorts, incidentally, are to be found wherever painting is done.

I am only saying quite modestly: we should devote more reflection to our good and not inconsiderable tradition of painting and drawing. I consider a return to the formal power of the great medieval masters to be precisely as appropriate ... as what the French do, training their people and cultivating their tradition by drawing inspiration from old Neapolitan frescoes, from Oriental tapestries, from [Jean Auguste Dominique] Ingres or African sculpture or Bushman paintings. Ugh! I have spoken.

Source: George Grosz, “Among Other Things, a Word for German Tradition” © Estate of George Grosz/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Reprinted in The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, edited by Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg, University of California Press, pp. 499-502.

Source of original German text: George Grosz, “Unter anderem ein Wort für die deutsche Tradition,” Das Kunstblatt 15, no. 3 (1931), pp. 79-84.

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