Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: George Grosz, American, born Germany, 1893–1959

Haifische (Sharks)

1920–21

Transfer lithograph

sheet: 37.8 × 50.8 cm (14 7/8 × 20 in.)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
2006.52.75
George Grosz became famous through his satirical works that criticized the politics and society of the post-World War I Weimar Republic of Germany. He specifically targeted the military and the bourgeois ruling class, which he considered corrupt and blamed for the country’s increasing economic and political instability. His works from the 1920s depict in an almost grotesque way the bourgeoisie, often with explicit sexual allusions referring to the social decadence and corruption reigning in those years. In Haifische (Sharks), Grosz portrays an ambigu­ous trio in a few bold, razor-sharp lines. The men, dressed in fine suits that identify them as members of the bourgeoisie, look lustfully at the nude woman, who in turn might be planning to charm and exploit them, thus expressing the moral abyss of German society.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

Cathleen Chaffee, Eye on a Century: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 36, 172, no. 5, fig. 5.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.