Georg Baselitz © Atelier Buch Katz; Thaddaeus Ropac Georg Baselitz © Atelier Buch Katz; Thaddaeus Ropac
Georg Baselitz © Atelier Buch Katz; Thaddaeus Ropac

Georg Baselitz

German
b. 1938
/

Overview

'I began with drawings and paintings, in a way like digging, drilling, eavesdropping, ruminating, mining, as I thought about what lies behind or below. And so, transmuted into lines and forms, I have transported myself from my world into another one…'

Georg Baselitz has had a profound influence on international art since 1960 and is indisputably one of the most important artists of our time. He shaped a new identity for German art in the second half of the 20th century; in reaction to the trauma and tragedy of the Second World War, he developed an artistic vocabulary which draws on the work of his forebears, whilst remaining unique and wholly individualistic. Since then, Baselitz has constantly renewed his practice through formal developments, drawing upon art history and his own extensive oeuvre, never allowing himself to become restricted by a single, identifiable style.

The artist has been painting his compositions upside down since 1969. For Baselitz, this novel format was a way of emptying form of its content, navigating between abstraction and figuration, and revolutionising a medium that was then regarded as irredeemably conventional. His directly tactile method of painting with his fingers in the 1970s encouraged a freer use of colour and material that would come to the fore in his expressionist colour fields of the 1980s. This was a seminal decade for the artist, opening with his selection to represent Germany at the 1980 Venice Biennale alongside Anselm Kiefer, which marked his first foray into sculpture.

Georg Baselitz has had a profound influence on international art since 1960 and is indisputably one of the most important artists of our time. He shaped a new identity for German art in the second half of the 20th century; in reaction to the trauma and tragedy of the Second World War, he developed an artistic vocabulary which draws on the work of his forebears, whilst remaining unique and wholly individualistic. Since then, Baselitz has constantly renewed his practice through formal developments, drawing upon art history and his own extensive oeuvre, never allowing himself to become restricted by a single, identifiable style.

The artist has been painting his compositions upside down since 1969. For Baselitz, this novel format was a way of emptying form of its content, navigating between abstraction and figuration, and revolutionising a medium that was then regarded as irredeemably conventional. His directly tactile method of painting with his fingers in the 1970s encouraged a freer use of colour and material that would come to the fore in his expressionist colour fields of the 1980s. This was a seminal decade for the artist, opening with his selection to represent Germany at the 1980 Venice Biennale alongside Anselm Kiefer, which marked his first foray into sculpture. 

The urge towards constant innovation has been present throughout his career, as in the Remix Paintings he has been creating since 2006 that re-examine the iconography of past works. By revisiting his own motifs and integrating subtle references to art history, Baselitz offers a reflection on the significance of painting itself. Asked about this self-referentiality, he stated: 'I kept sinking into myself, and everything I do is being pulled out of myself.' In recent works that feature the figures of the artist and his wife Elke, Baselitz engages in the struggle of representation, the inescapability of subjectivity, and the representation of the self through a significant other. He has also introduced a new technique in recent works created using a transfer method, in which the lightness, boldness and vivid colouration is conceived as an homage to Roy Lichtenstein.

Baselitz, who has worked with the gallery for over 20 years, lives between four different locations: Basel, Lake Ammersee in Bavaria, Salzburg, and Imperia in Liguria, Italy. Early in his career, his work was included in documenta 5 (1972), 6 (1977) and 7 (1982). Following the 1980 Venice Biennale, he participated in a series of influential exhibitions: A New Spirit in Painting (1981) and German Art in the Twentieth Century (1985) at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and Zeitgeist (1982) at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, presented his first comprehensive retrospective in 1995, which toured to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Nationalgalerie, Berlin; and Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris. Another significant retrospective was organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 2007. In 2006 and 2007, the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, and the Albertina, Vienna, were the first to present his Remix cycle.

A retrospective of Baselitz's sculptural works was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (2011–12), followed by a large retrospective at the Essl Museum, Vienna (2013). His Avignon series was presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015. The following year, an exhibition juxtaposed the work of Baselitz and Emilio Vedova at the Museum Küppersmühle, Duisburg. His Heldenbilder (Hero Paintings) and Neue Typen (New Types) were shown at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2016), travelling to the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Palazzo delle Expozioni, Rome; and Guggenheim Bilbao. To mark the artist's 80th birthday in 2018, comprehensive solo exhibitions were held at the Beyeler Foundation, Basel; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; and Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France. In 2019, he became the first living artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice.

Videos

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From the Studio Georg Baselitz

From the Studio

Georg Baselitz
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Georg Baselitz Time

Georg Baselitz

Time
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Georg Baselitz A Focus on the 1980s

Georg Baselitz

A Focus on the 1980s
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Georg Baselitz Descente

Georg Baselitz

Descente
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Georg Baselitz Le Côté Sombre

Georg Baselitz

Le Côté Sombre
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Georg Baselitz Das Negativ - New Sculptures

Georg Baselitz

Das Negativ - New Sculptures
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Georg Baselitz & Emilio Vedova

Georg Baselitz & Emilio Vedova

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Group Exhibition Eurasia. A View on Painting

Group Exhibition

Eurasia. A View on Painting
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Group Exhibition 30 JAHRE / 30 YEARS

Group Exhibition

30 JAHRE / 30 YEARS
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Group Exhibition Disaster: The End of Days

Group Exhibition

Disaster: The End of Days

Exhibitions

Publications

Georg Baselitz Time
Georg Baselitz Time
Georg Baselitz Time

Georg Baselitz
Time

2019

Publications

Georg Baselitz Time

Georg Baselitz

Time
2019
Georg Baselitz: Time
€ 60.00
Georg Baselitz A Focus on the 1980s

Georg Baselitz

A Focus on the 1980s
2018
Georg Baselitz: A Focus on the 1980s
€ 35.00
Emilio Vedova & Georg Baselitz

Emilio Vedova & Georg Baselitz

2015
Emilio Vedova & Georg Baselitz
€ 42.00
Georg Baselitz Le Côté Sombre

Georg Baselitz

Le Côté Sombre
2013
Georg Baselitz: Le Côté Sombre
€ 50.00
Georg Baselitz Das Negativ: eine andere Umkehrung

Georg Baselitz

Das Negativ: eine andere Umkehrung
2012
Georg Baselitz: Das Negativ: eine andere Umkehrung
€ 60.00
Georg Baselitz Volk Ding Zero

Georg Baselitz

Volk Ding Zero
2010
Georg Baselitz: Volk Ding Zero
€ 35.00
Georg Baselitz Verdunkelung

Georg Baselitz

Verdunkelung
2009
Georg Baselitz: Verdunkelung
€ 35.00
Georg Baselitz Remix

Georg Baselitz

Remix
2008
Georg Baselitz: Remix
€ 35.00
Georg Baselitz Russenbilder

Georg Baselitz

Russenbilder
2007
Georg Baselitz: Russenbilder
€ 35.00
Georg Baselitz Spaziergang ohne Stock

Georg Baselitz

Spaziergang ohne Stock
2005
Georg Baselitz: Spaziergang ohne Stock
€ 25.00
Georg Baselitz Meine Neue Mütze

Georg Baselitz

Meine Neue Mütze
2002
Georg Baselitz: Meine Neue Mütze
€ 20.00
Georg Baselitz Schlafende Knaben

Georg Baselitz

Schlafende Knaben
2001
Georg Baselitz: Schlafende Knaben
€ 20.00

News and Press

News and Press

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Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast
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