Georg Baselitz, Lieber Marcel Duchamp, das haben sie doch von Picasso gestohlen! (Dear Marcel Duchamp, You Stole That from Picasso!), 2016, oil on canvas, 161 7/16 × 120 1/16 inches (410 × 305 cm) © Georg Baselitz 2016. 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. Major museum exhibitions include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995, traveled to the 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); Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn (2004); “Baselitz—Remix,” Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2006, traveled to Albertina, Vienna); “The Russian Pictures,” Musée d'Art Moderne, Saint-Étienne (2007, traveled to the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; and Deichtorhallen, Hamburg); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007, traveled to Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, 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, London (2013); “Back then, in between, and today,” Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014–15); “How it began…,” State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg (2015); and “The Heroes,” Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2016). Baselitz’s work is featured in public collections worldwide, including Berlinische Galerie Museum of Modern Art, Berlin; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Fondation Beyeler, Basel; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Städel Museum, Frankfurt; and the Tate Modern, London. In 2014, the British Museum, London, presented “Germany Divided: Baselitz and his Generation,” an exhibition of drawings and prints by Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, Blinky Palermo, A. R. Penck, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter. The Avignon paintings (2014) were featured in the 56th Biennale di Venezia in 2015.
Baselitz currently lives and works between Ammersee, Germany; Basel, Switzerland; Imperia, Italy; and Salzburg, Austria.