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Georg Baselitz Works on Paper
January 21–April 29, 2018, #kunstmuseumbasel | Neubau Curator: Anita Haldemann
On occasion of his eightieth birthday, the #kunstmuseumbasel honors #georgbaselitz (b. Jan 23, 1938), one of the most distinguished figures in German postwar art. Concurrent with a focused retrospective of his oeuvre at the Fondation Beyeler, our exhibition showcases a representative survey of his drawings and colored graphic art from the museum’s Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings).
Baselitz was trained as a painter at the Academies of Arts in East and West Berlin. In the context of German postwar art’s stern emphasis on abstraction, his insistence on a highly expressive and realistic figuration could not but be perceived as a provocation.
Baselitz’s meteoric career took off in the mid-1960s, when he painted pictures that scandalized critics and audiences and published hallucinatory “Pandemonic Manifestos.” He cultivated his public image and featured “new heroes” in his work. This process culminated in his decision, in 1969, to turn his pictures upside down, a simple act that stripped them of their conventional content. Confronting the beholder’s eye with color and form as such without distracting it with subject matter, the inverted canvases were a way for the painter to avoid abandoning figuration altogether.
Older and new works
The evolution of Baselitz’s art is especially evident in his drawings, which show him developing his ideas in an intuitive and unrestrained creative flow. His most recent works are characterized by his limber mastery of the medium and bear witness to his musings on mortality, but also look back on his own large and multifaceted oeuvre. He revisits central themes in his paintings and crucial sources of inspiration such as Marcel Duchamp.
The longstanding friendship between Baselitz and the #kunstmuseumbasel goes back to 1970, when Dieter Koepplin, then the director of the Kupferstichkabinett, boosted the 32-year-old artist’s career by organizing a first exhibition of his drawings. Twenty-five sheets from the show entered the museum’s holdings, the basis of a collection enlarged in the 1980s by the addition of outstanding works in connection with the e exhibition #georgbaselitz. Drawings 1958–1983. The artist, for his part, complemented these and subsequent acquisitions by generously donating several works, helping the museum build a well-rounded collection of his art.
The Kupferstichkabinett now has a sizable ensemble of 152 of Baselitz’s finest drawings and watercolors. The exhibition presents a selection of ca. 88 works from the museum’s holdings as well as 15 more recent pieces on loan from the artist.
The exhibition is supported by:
IWB Industrielle Werke Basel
Isaac Dreyfus-Bernheim Stiftung Foundation for the Kunstmuseum Basel
Media conference and preview of the exhibition
Friday, January 19, 11am
Fondation Beyeler, Baselstr. 101, Riehen.
After the press conference, media representatives will have the opportunity to see the exhibition at the #kunstmuseumbasel. Transportation will be provided.
Please register for the media conference at the Fondation Beyeler as well as the shuttle to the #kunstmuseumbasel by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 12, 2018.
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