ARTISTS

Georg Baselitz


Georg Baselitz (*1938)

 

Painter, sculptor, printmaker and draughtsman, Georg Baselitz is one of Germany’s most celebrated living artists, with a distinguished career spanning over fifty years.

 

Born Hans-Georg Kern in 1938, he grew up in Saxony, an area that later became East Germany. Whilst studying painting at the Academy of Art in East Berlin (1956) he was sent down after one year for political immaturity. He then applied at the Academy in West Berlin and moved there in 1958, completing his studies in 1962. During this period he adopted the surname Baselitz, reflecting his place of birth Deutschbaselitz.

 

Baselitz’s first solo exhibition in 1963 at Galerie Werner & Katz, Berlin, caused a public scandal and several paintings were confiscated by the German authorities claiming that they were publicly indecent. A scholarschip in Florence in 1965, where he became interested in Italian Mannerist prints led to a series of paintings depicting monumental male figures. These paintings are often termed as the “Hero”(“Helden”) series. The long figure as a prophet or saint also alludes to home coming soldies stumbling, dazed through battle-scarred post-war Germany.

 

The “Facture” paintings of the late 1960s were devided into segments so that the imagery could be reorganised pictorially. In 1969, he decided to create and work upside down in order to re-focus the viewer on the pure pictorial merits of the painting. By attempting to overcome the representational, content-driven character of his earlier work, this also enabbled him to emphasise the qualities of the composition independent from the motif.
By the late 1970s, he was making monumental sculptures of figures and heads with rudimentary and deliberately irregular forms. Having spent most of the 1970s apparently working outside the mainsteam, dominated at the time by Conceptual Art practice, by the 1980s he had established his international reputation (cemented by exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale in 1980 and “A New Spirit in Painting”, in 1981). In 2005 Baselitz introduced the “Remix” in his work, in which he has returned to key phases of his own art history (including “The Big Night Down the Drain” and “Great Friends”) and made new versions of his work. These paintings have allowed Baselitz to revisit and excavate the past, pushing his own painterly vocabulary to create works that are fresh and liberated.

 

Georg Baselitz lives and works in Germany. He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2017), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2016), Städel Museum Frankfurt (2016), Haus der Kunst, Munich and Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See (2014), Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2013), Musée Cantini, Marseille (2011) Galerie Neue Meister und Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister der Staatlichen Kunstsammlung Dresden (2009), Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2009), Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, Naples (2008), the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007), Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen (2006), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1997) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995). Group shows include, Royal Academy, London (2011), Kunstmuseum Basel (2008), Venice Biennial (2007), the Stedelijk, Amsterdam (2001) and Documenta 7 (1982).

 

 

Exhibitions and Distinctions (Selection)

 

2009
Frieder Burda Museum, Baden-Baden

 

2008—2009
Museum der Moderne, Salzburg

 

2007
Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch-Hall

 

2006
Royal Academy of Arts, London

 

2004
Retrospective at Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek. Remix works at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich

 

2003
Praemium Imperiale Award, Tokyo. Retrospective at Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic Germany, Bonn. Laureate of the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence

 

2000
Lower-Saxon State Award. Large exhibition at the Albertina,Vienna

 

1999
Honorary professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow

 

1996
Honorary professorship at Royal Academy of Arts in London Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

 

1995
Large Retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, Hirschhorn Museum and Sculptures Garden, Washington and at Nationalgalerie, Berlin

 

1990
Retrospective at the Kunsthaus Zürich and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

 

1986
Awarded Kaiserring (Emperor’s Ring) by the city of Goslar. Art Prize of the Norddeutsche Landesbank, Hannover

 

1983—1988
(also from 1992-2003) professorship at the Berlin Academy of Arts

 

1980
Shows his first sculptures at the German Pavillon of the Venice Biennale

 

1978
Professorship at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe

 

1976
Retrospectives at the Kunsthalle Bern, the Staatsgalerie of Modern Art in Munich and the Kunsthalle Köln

 

1970
First museum exhibition in the Kupferstichkabinett, Museum of Arts, Basel

 

1969
First motif reversal with Der Wald auf dem Kopf (upside-down forest)

 

1963
First exhibition in Werner & Katz gallery, Berlin and confiscation of his work Die große Nacht im Eimer (the big night down the drain) by the public prosecutor’s office, on grounds of sexual lewdness

 

 

Literature (Selection)

 

Baselitz Remix, ed. by Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 2006

 

Georg Baselitz—Paintings 1962-2001, ed. by Detlev Gretenkort, Milan, 2002

 

Georg Baselitz, Manifeste und Texte zur Kunst 1966—2000, Bern 2001

 

Georg Baselitz, ed. by Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1992

 

Georg Baselitz, Andreas Frantzke, München, 1988

 

Baselitz—Peintre-Graveur, Werkverzeichnis der Druckgraphik, Fred Jahn, Johannes Gachnang,Vol. I: 1963—1974,Vol. 2: 1974—1982, Basel, Berlin 1983, 1987

 

Baselitz-1968-Kühe