Georg Baselitz, Untitled, 2015, ink pen, watercolor, and India ink on paper, 2 parts, left: 26 3/8 × 20 1/8 inches (66.8 × 51 cm); right: 26 3/8 × 20 1/8 inches (66.9 × 50.9 cm) © Georg Baselitz 2015. Photo by Jochen Littkemann, Berlin
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 was born in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony. He studied at the Academy of Art in East and West Berlin, Germany, from 1956 to 1957. Baselitz’s work is featured in many public collections, including Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Tate Modern, London. Major museum exhibitions include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995, traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, through 1996); “Monumentale Aquarelle,” Albertina, Vienna (2003); “Upside down, boy you turn me. Baselitz in der Hess Collection,” Kunstmuseum, Germany (2004); “Baselitz, Eine einzige Leidenschaft—die Maleri,” Fondation de l’Hermitage, Switzerland (2006); “The Russian Pictures,” National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (2007); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007, traveled to MADRE, Naples, through 2008); “Baselitz auf Papier,” Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); “Georg Baselitz—Gemälde und Skulpturen 1960–2008,” Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (2009); “Pinturas Recentes,” Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo (2010–11); “Baselitz—Sculpteur,” Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2011–12); “Romantiker kaput,” Kunstmuseum Moritzburg, Germany (2012); “Works from 1968 to 2012,” Essl Museum, Vienna (2013); “BDM Gruppe,” Victoria and Albert Museum, John Madjeski Garden, London (2013); “Georg Baselitz—Back then, in between, and today,” Haus derk Kunst, Munich (2014); and “Sigmund’s Cave,” Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (2015). In 2014, the British Museum, London, presented “Germany Divided: Baselitz and his Generation,” an exhibition of drawings and prints by Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, Blinky Palermo, A. R. Penck, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter.
Baselitz currently lives and works in Munich, Germany.