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Germany refuses to allow works by Grosz to leave the country for London show

The pieces were added to national heritage list and cannot travel without an export license, which the owner failed to obtain

Grosz's Brilliantenschieber is one of only seven collages by the artist in the world, possibly a reason why Germany wants to keep it in the country

Two works on paper by the German Expressionist artist George Grosz will not be included in an exhibition at a London commercial gallery because their owner failed to obtain a temporary export license. Schönheit, dich will ich preisen (beauty, thee I want to praise), 1919, and Brilliantenschieber (diamond merchants), 1920, were meant to be shown in “George Grosz’s Berlin: Prostitutes, Politicians, Profiteers” (28 September-2 November) at the Richard Nagy Gallery.

Two years ago, the works were added to the German national heritage list, which forbids them from leaving the country without a permit. The owner of the pieces filed a lawsuit to have them removed from the list but a verdict has yet to be reached. Due to the ongoing case, the owner’s recent request for an export license was dismissed.

The dealer Richard Nagy says he is “not happy” that the works, which have already been published in the catalogue, will not make it to the show. Although he says they are “not pivotal” to the exhibition, one of the pieces, Brilliantenschieber, was the only example of Grosz’s use of collage to be included—and one of only seven collages by Grosz in the world, possibly a reason why Germany wants to keep it in the country. “It’s a great loss in terms of seeing Grosz’s technique,” Nagy says.

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13 Sep 13
15:17 CET


More collages by George Grosz are on display in the art museum of Ahlen on the occasion of the exhibition "Disturbing the Piece. An Expedition through the World of Collage", starting September 28th in the Art Museum of Ahlen and the Marta Herford. The collages are on loan from the Akademie der Künste Berlin, published in "Georges Grosz montiert.", Akademie der Künste Berlin 2010. Other examples of collage by G.G. were on display in Ahlen in 2001.

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