An economical sketch of a messy room and the disgusting couple who inhabit it, all loose flesh and hard liquor. A drawing of a muscle-shirted strongman with a knife in his pants pocket surrounded by syringes, revolvers, thorny roses and bottles of booze. A painting of two identical, bob-haired, blade-thin girls in coffee-colored lingerie and French manicures masturbating under the even glare of an overhead light, a man’s watch on a pillow hinting at a threesome. If this sounds like the contents of a Bushwick studio circa now, guess again. These are works on paper by George Grosz from 1915 and a painting by Christian Schad from 1928.
It’s remarkable to see the extent to which German Expressionism and “New Objectivity,” the subjects of a fascinating show at the Neue Galerie, have influenced the art of