Georg Baselitz Zero Dom (2021)
On the occasion of Georg Baselitz’s admission into the Académie des beaux-arts and of his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou from 20 October 2021 until 7 March 2022, the German artist’s monumental sculpture Zero Dom (2021) will be installed in front of the Institut de France, gathering six academies, including the Académie des beaux-arts and the Académie française, for the duration of the exhibition.
Best-known for his upside-down oil paintings, Georg Baselitz, born in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony, made his first sculpture in 1980. The artist carves the initial form out of wood with a chainsaw. The form is then moulded, cast in bronze, and covered in a matte black patina, giving the sculpture the look of burnt wood.
The title Zero Dom is originally a reference to the name of his paint supplier ‘Zero’, which Baselitz, from one work to another, turned into a playful dadaist motif that can be found throughout his oeuvre. The word Dom (dome), in turn, evokes the structure itself, which Baselitz likens to ‘legs, a woman’s legs, legs dancing in a circle [...] an igloo, a tent. A frame without an envelope, the wind blows through it.’ Zero Dom features a recurring theme in Baselitz’s work, that of the foot, which the artist sees as a form of self-portrait; an existential symbol for an identity that is based on our connexion to the ground rather than in looking skywards: the earth, rather than transcendence.