Watercolor on cream laid paper, circa 1933. 615x475 mm; 24 1/8x18 3/4 inches. Signed in ink, lower right recto, and inscribed "8" in pencil, verso.
Provenance: I. B. Neumann, Berlin and New York, with the label; World House Galleries, New York, with the label; Sotheby's, New York, December 16, 1970, sale 3137, lot 28; Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, D.C., with the label; Estate of Faye and Jack Moskowitz, Washington, D.C.
Grosz (1893-1959) arrived in New York in the summer of 1932 to teach at the Art Students League. Faced with censorship in Berlin, he decided to relocate to New York permanently the following year. Grosz completed a number of wet-on-wet watercolor scenes of his new home, like the current work, embracing the frenetic energy, the architecture, and vignettes of daily city life.
The collector Israel Ber Neumann (1887-1961), usually known as I. B. Neumann, was born in Austria and initially studied business. When he was nineteen, he began an apprenticeship to a book and picture dealer. In 1910, Neumann relocated to Berlin and in 1911 opened a book and art shop where he exhibited the work of Edvard Munch and other cutting-edge contemporary artists of the day. Neumann had numerous artist friends and in 1915-1916 he was secretary to the Berlin Secession, a prominent German artist association. By 1922, Neumann had a bustling art dealership and branch offices in Bremen, Düsseldorf and Munich.
Neumann emigrated to the United States in 1923. Management of the Berlin gallery was taken over first by Alfred Flechtheim and then Karl Nierendorf. The Frankfurt shop was managed by his employee Günther Franke. In 1924 Neumann opened a 57th Street gallery and bookshop, first called J. B. Neumann's Print Room and later the New Art Circle gallery. He exhibited artists such as Grosz, Max Beckmann, Conrad Felixmüller, Otto Dix and Rudolf Schlichter at the very beginning of their careers. Part of Neumann's estate archives, including an unpublished autobiography, and the archives of his galleries are in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.