In the 1960s Georg Baselitz emerged as a pioneer of German Neo-Expressionist painting. His work evokes disquieting subjects rendered feverishly as a means of confronting the realities of the modern age and explores what it is to be German and a German artist in a postwar world. In the late 1970s his iconic “upside-down” paintings, in which bodies, landscapes, and buildings are inverted within the picture plane, ignoring the realities of the physical world, make obvious the artifice of painting. Drawing upon a dynamic and myriad pool of influences, including art of the Mannerist period, African sculptures, and Soviet era illustration art, Baselitz developed a distinct painting language.
Georg Baselitz (b. 1938, Deutschbaselitz, Saxony) lives and works outside Munich, Germany, and Imperia, Italy. Major retrospectives of his work have been held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1983; traveled to Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and Kunsthalle Basel); Centre Pompidou, Paris (1993); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995; traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1996); and Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007). Baselitz has represented Germany at the Venice Biennale (1980) and participated in Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany (1982).