Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition
Original Poster by George Grosz, 1934
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition
George Grosz (1893-1959) (after)
Powers Reproduction Corporation (lithographers) (act. c. 1910-1940)
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition
Interstate Printing Company, New York: 1934
Color process print
Signed in the matrix: Grosz
14 x 11 inches
$900

Original poster for the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition, held in New York's Greenwich Village.  It features a caricature of Rembrandt carrying paintings and a portfolio under his arm, including one of his famous self-portraits, in black outline and washes heightened with blue and pink. The image in the poster is based on a pen and ink artwork by the prominent German artist George Grosz. The poster text gives the date of Labor Day as September 3, which indicates it was for the 1934 exhibition.

George Grosz was a German painter, draftsman and illustrator known for his satiric caricatures which frequently had a strong political message. Between the World Wars he participated in the Berlin Dada movement and was among the artists who developed the technique of photomontage. He also received many portrait commissions. In 1932, shortly before Hitler seized control of the German government, he left for a visiting professorship at the Art Students League in New York, and continued teaching there until 1955. His work there gradually turned away from political satire toward landscape paintings and affectionate caricatures of New York types. He returned to Berlin in 1959 and died there.

The idea for the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit began when Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up their paintings for sale on the sidewalk near Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. It quickly became an organized event occurring twice a year, at Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend and noted artists such as Alice Neel, Saul Berman, Ilya Bolotowski and Beauford Delaney participated. The popular event is still held today.

Powers Reproduction Corporation was a New York City firm specializing in making line cuts and printing plates. A 1931 advertisement promoted the company with a full color reproduction of a painting and the text: "Engravers of highest grade printing plates for many of the foremost Advertising Agencies and leading Publications. Illustrate and Sell."

Interstate Printing Company is a New York City printing firm, still in business today.

Full title: Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition, August 26 to Labor Day Sept. 3 - 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Contributed by George Grosz - Powers Reproduction Corp. - Interstate Printing Corp.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling. Minor crease upper left margin. Tape residue verso in two areas in margin appears stable and not affecting the front.

References:

"About." Washington Square Art Exhibit. 2014. http://www.wsoae.org/#!about/c1wfv (25 June 2014).

Zeller, Ursula. Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press: 2009. Online at MOMA:  http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=2374 (25 June 2014).


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