23 January - 3 March 2018
Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin.
In Berlin, at that time still a divided city, everything began.
In 1963, Baselitz had a show at Galerie Werner & Katz. A scandal resulted; two paintings were confiscated for their allegedly lewd motifs.
Since then, Baselitz’s work has remained provocative. He painted “Heroes” that were not heroes, but rather those that found themselves again helpless in the no man’s land of the two Germanys after dictatorship and war.
He left Berlin, fragmented and destroyed the motifs until he could stand them on their heads. This process enabled him to return to landscape, the nude, and portraits after his personal nightmare of the sixties. Gradually his painting earned recognition in museums and with collectors. In 1975 his new home became Derneburg near Hildesheim. After years of intensive graphic production, crowned by the large linocuts, Baselitz created his first wooden sculpture for the German Pavilion in Venice in 1980. New misunderstandings brought anxiety and ideological insinuations. Nevertheless, Baselitz amplified the power of his art by consciously inserting aggression and ugliness to correct and outdo the then-fashionable “Wilde.”
Installation view, Hommage à Georg Baselitz, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, January 23–March 3, 2018 © Georg Baselitz 2018
His breakthrough came with international exhibitions in the USA, France, UK, and Switzerland. Since then, each series of work bears reference to Baselitz’s first 20 years of artistic production, set up like concentric circles around the essence of his practice. With the Remix series in 2005, Baselitz discovered a fruitful method to revisit earlier work, stripping it of old vices. Through today his work is infused by the presence of mind, virtuosity, a plenitude of associations, mastery, and skill. This exhibition brings together selected examples of Baselitz’s accomplishments from 1963 to the present.
This homage, on the occasion of Baselitz’s 80th birthday, celebrates an artist that constantly reinvents himself, mirrored by his continuous significance in the contemporary art scene.