Georg Baselitz - Buy or sell works

23 January 1938, Deutschbaselitz (Germany)

Georg Baselitz is one of Germany’s best-known contemporary artists. His inverted motifs inspired by Art Brut are typical of the painter and sculptor’s work from 1969 onwards. Baselitz has influenced international art since 1960, combining German Expressionism with free American painting in the style of Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning.

Hans-Georg Kern was born in Deutschbaselitz near Dresden (Saxony) in 1938, adopting the name Georg Baselitz in reference to his place of birth. He was forced to leave the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin Weissensee (GDR) in 1956 due to ‘sociopolitical immaturity’. He continued his studies at the Berlin University of the Arts in West Berlin. During his time as a student his primary artistic influences were the works of Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Wilhelm Nay and Kazimir Malevich. For a while Baselitz was a member of the New Fauves.

During travels to Paris and Amsterdam he met artists including Jean Dubuffet, who introduced him to Art Brut, the so-called ‘outsider’ art of the psychologically deranged, whose style influenced Baselitz’s aggressive-expressive works. In the 1960s his erotic depictions provoked scandals, with two of his paintings being seized by the public prosecutor who pronounced them ‘immoral’.

Baselitz was one of the first to turn against the dominant canon of minimalist, abstract art in the 1960s. He was also strongly influenced by the singular art of Edvard Munch, who, in turn, became a model for the protagonists of the Junge Wilde in the 1980s. To underscore his autonomy and create a sense of alienation in the viewer, Baselitz inverted his motifs, instantly lending many of his figurative-expressive works an abstract appearance. This inversion became his trademark and secured his international reputation.

From 1979/80 onwards Baselitz also turned to sculpture. Using an axe and chainsaw, he produced figural sculptures in wood that were reminiscent of African tribal art.

In addition to his Soldiers and Heroes series, his Russian works, which he executed between 1998 and 2002 in an attempt to reinterpret the Socialist Realism art that had dominated his childhood and youth, caused a sensation. In his latest Remix series, the artist examines his own historical motifs.

Most prominent museums of contemporary art hold or have exhibited works by Georg Baselitz. The artist is a three-time participant at Documenta (1972, 1977, and 1982), and has exhibited twice at the Venice Biennale (1980 and 2007).