I’m not certain of the exact dates that Grosz began making his “the painter of the hole” paintings but it was no doubt not just tied to his experiences watching German civilization evaporate in madness only to wind up in America where painting as practiced by the more “avant-garde” natives he briefly encapsulates as follows:
Another student of mine had been an abstract painter for some years, had shown his pictures, had some success, and now wanted to explore something else, another method. He was not untalented, but drawing from nature seemed rather a bore to him. I could understand that very well, after he had once explained to me what art was all about: impression. “Very interesting,” I said. “That’s OK. But what do you mean by that?”
“Gravity,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?”
He explained his working method, which was as follows: he would take a pot of paint, and pour some from a specific height onto a canvas on the floor. “That makes an impression, right? Then I lower the paint pot. The impression changes. I go higher. Different again. Finally I get onto a chair. You wouldn’t believe, Mr. Grosz, how that changes the impression!”
“Ever so interesting,” I said, “Nothing wrong with that.”