Georg Baselitz

From 7 June 2023

This presentation is dedicated to Georg Baselitz (*1938) and his generous decision to donate 100 of his own outstanding and pioneering works on paper to the ALBERTINA Museum and the Morgan Library, from which he invited the two museums to choose 50 each for their collections.

Georg Baselitz’s oeuvre has played a significant role in shaping—or, more to the point, radically upending—post-1945 art history. This showing’s retrospective selection of works allow one to easily retrace the path that Baselitz has forged in search of a new method of depiction, a method situated “where nobody has been before,” as the artist himself has put it. Though Baselitz starts from representational motifs, it remains emphatically evident just how much abstraction he employs in his thinking and artistic execution in order to arrive at an original creative language. To this end, the artist also devotes intensive study to art history, which his initial instinct is to aggressively oppose, to resist—a rebellious stance that begets the development of his revolutionary visual creations. Here, one is impressed upon realizing how his reversal of motifs represents a logical step towards liberating himself from content in order to focus on fundamental questions of pictorial design.

The temporal arc here extends from early to quite recent works that also serve to clearly indicate the significance in the artist’s oeuvre of drawings, which are autonomous but still do relate to his paintings in terms of their motifs. By no means mere sketches or preliminary drawings, every single one of these works on paper is used by Baselitz to pose himself a different artistic challenge - in the course of which the most varied materials including pencil, India ink, watercolors, and pastels are brought to bear.

On view at the ALBERTINA museum from 7 June until 17 September 2023.

Image Gallery – 2 Images


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