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
By Julia Michalska. Web only
Published online: 11 September 2013
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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