Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Georg Baselitz.
"If you are remixing popular music you change the rhythm or the sound…What I do is something entirely different. I have thought for a long time about what to call what I do. I liked the word 'remix' because it comes from youth culture. The oldies don't as a rule know what the word remix means. When they hear it they perhaps think of an insect spray." — Georg Baselitz
Since the autumn of 2005, Georg Baselitz has been working on a series of paintings that revisit subjects from many of his most provocative pieces, amounting to a self-referencing body of work that he has entitled "Remix."
With the clarity of hindsight, and working exclusively from photographs of his earlier paintings, Baselitz has extracted many of the usual suspects and recurring symbols from significant works such as Die große Nacht in Eimer (The Big Night Down the Drain) (1962-63), which was the subject of public outcry as part of his first solo exhibition in West Berlin in 1963. In undertaking these thematic extractions, the artist is not interested in recreating existing works, but, rather, in bringing past subjects into a present focus. Vibrant colors and blunt, driven strokes are evidentiary of Baselitz's action painting execution, of his desire, as he has said, "to speed it up."
In the Remix paintings, one feels an undeniable transubstantiation of heavy figures and attenuated tones of past works into vivacious, sharpened forms. Georg Baselitz will turn seventy this year, and the artist's desire to clarify and to give new meaning to references of the past through a present context is evident. The spontaneity and lightness of these new compositions, though, are nonetheless countered by the weight of history and the artist's ever-present questioning of what it means to be German.
This first exhibition of the Remix works in France will include 16 new paintings of which a small series were inspired by a print that Baselitz had made for Musée de Caen called Marcel Duchamp and the Chambermaid, depicting Duchamp-whose visage strikes a marked resemblance to that of the artist-sexually entangled with a chambermaid.
Georg Baselitz was born Hans-Georg Kern in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony. From the beginning, his work has been marked by a visceral reaction to human trauma and tragedy, particularly with relation to German history. Baselitz was also heavily influenced by "Art Brut," by the writings and drawings of Antonin Artaud and by African sculpture.
Georg Baselitz's works have been the subject of numerous, international solo and group exhibitions since the early 1960s. His first major retrospective took place at the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York in 1995, which went on to the Los Angeles County Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Nationalgalerie in Berlin and, in 1996, to the Musée d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. A second, significant retrospective has just ended at the Royal Academy in London, and the Remix paintings themselves have come to be the subject of exhibitions at Munich's Pinakothek (2006) and at the Albertina Museum in Vienna (2007).
An illustrated catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition with texts by Eric Darragon and Richard Leydier.