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Georg Baselitz

Lives and works at lake Ammersee, Germany, near Salzburg, Austria, and in Imperia, Italy
B. 1938

Georg Baselitz was born Hans-Georg Kern in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony, an area that later became the German Democratic Republic, or DDR. In 1957, after his second term studying painting at the Academy of Fine and Applied Arts in East Berlin, he was sent down for ‘political immaturity’. Later that year, he moved to West Berlin’s Academy of Art, completing his studies there in 1962. It was during this period that he adopted the surname Baselitz, after his birthplace.

Searching for alternatives to the two strands dominating painting at the beginning of his career, Eastern-Bloc Socialist Realism and Western abstraction, Baselitz became interested in art outside of these mainstreams. He was inspired by Art Brut, Dada and Surrealism, as well as by Existentialist literature. In 1969 he made the momentous decision to create and display his works upside down. This innovation enabled him to emphasise the abstract qualities of his compositions while retaining the psychological charge of their figurative subject matter.

In 2005 Baselitz began to ‘Remix’ a number of his earlier works. He returned to key phases of his own art history and made new, reimagined versions of important earlier images. This has allowed him to revisit and excavate the past while also expanding his painterly vocabulary further, and resulting in the creation of works that are both fresh and liberated. Key themes in his recent paintings include memory-based portraits of himself and his wife Elke, his own ageing process and allusions to artists he admires. Throughout his career, the artist has also made drawings and prints as a separate, independent practice.

Georg Baselitz lives and works near Salzburg, Austria; at lake Ammersee, Germany; and Imperia, Italy. He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice (2022); Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris (2021); Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice (2019); Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington (2018); Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2016 -- 17, travelling); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014); Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See, Germany (2014); Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris (2011 and 1996); Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister der Staatlichen Kunstsammlung Dresden, Germany (2009); Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (2009); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, Naples (2008); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2006); and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995, travelling). Significant group exhibitions include ‘Baselitz, Richter, Polke, Kiefer -- The Early Years of the Old Masters’, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany (2019, travelling); the 56th, 52nd, 39th Venice Biennale (2015, 2007, 1980); ‘Germany Divided, Baselitz and His Generation from the Duerckheim Collection’, British Museum, London (2014); Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (1995, 1988, 1985); ‘Bilderstreit’, Museum Ludwig / Rheinhallen, Cologne (1989); ‘A New Spirit in Painting’, Royal Academy of Arts, London (1981); and Documenta 7 and 5, Kassel, Germany (1982, 1972).

Available Artworks

Georg Baselitz

Das Hemd ist nicht gelb, 2012

Price upon request

Georg Baselitz

Untitled, 2023

Price upon request


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Exhibitions


Museum Exhibitions

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27 April - 24 November 2024 | Sabbioneta, Italy

5 October 2023 - 7 January 2024 | Serpentine South and The Royal Parks, London

7 June - 17 September 2023 | Vienna


Films

In the Gallery

Martin Gayford on Georg Baselitz

Writer and curator Martin Gayford explores Georg Baselitz’s major solo exhibition ‘A Confession of My Sins’ at White Cube Bermondsey in 2024.

In the Gallery

Martin Gayford on Georg Baselitz

Writer and curator Martin Gayford explores Georg Baselitz’s major solo exhibition ‘A Confession of My Sins’ at White Cube Bermondsey in 2024.

In Focus

Georg Baselitz on White Cube at Glyndebourne

Georg Baselitz discusses the wide range of influences behind his exhibition at White Cube at Glyndebourne in 2015.

In the Gallery

Georg Baselitz on 'Wir fahren aus (We're off)'

Georg Baselitz discusses the themes of his 2016 exhibition, 'Wir fahren aus (We're off)' at White Cube Bermondsey with Andrea Schlieker.

Conversations

Sir Norman Rosenthal and Georgie Wimbush on Georg Baselitz

Art historian and curator Sir Norman Rosenthal and White Cube Director Georgie Wimbush, discuss Georg Baselitz’s painting ‘Ein zerrissener Hund, aufwärts (A Fractured Dog, Upwards)’ (1968).

In the Gallery

Toby Kamps on Georg Baselitz's 'Darkness Goldness'

Toby Kamps, Director of External Projects at White Cube, discusses Georg Baselitz's exhibition 'Darkness Goldness' at White Cube Mason's Yard in 2020.

Conversations

Bernard Blistène, Norman Rosenthal and Katy Siegel on Georg Baselitz

A conversation exploring the artist's use of the histories of art and culture, his visions of masculinity, existentialism and his current directions in painting, drawing and sculpture.

In Focus

Christian Rattemeyer on Georg Baselitz

Curator Christian Rattemeyer discusses the series of drawings and paintings on show in Baselitz’s 2022 exhibition ‘Sofabilder / Sofa Pictures’ at White Cube Hong Kong.




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