Georg Baselitz - Pictures, Art, Photography

Georg Baselitz

Background Information about Georg Baselitz


For more than six decades, Georg Baselitz has shaped the international art scene, and  remains one of the most important artists of the present. He is, alongside Gerhard Richter, one of the most famous German artists and painters of our time. Characteristic of his style are his expressive, large-format works – in which the painter produces pieces that are both figurative and abstract with an impressive painting technique.

In 1957, Baselitz left the Berlin Weissensee School of Art in East Berlin and moved to the West. At the time, the content of his images was viewed as obscene.  Having fallen out of favor in the DDR, he went on to cause a stir in West Berlin. Baselitz achieved worldwide recognition in the mid-1970s with his “upside down” series of paintings. These works subverted visual conventions, bringing the tension between representation and abstraction into full bloom.

The influences of Georg Baselitz are diverse. His artistic role models include figures such as Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Giacometti, and the expressionists from the group of artists known as Die Brücke (The Bridge). The aesthetic of outsider art – as a student Baselitz followed Jean Dubuffet closely – is also unmistakable in his work. The painter often uses Christian iconography, and deals with religious themes.

His upbringing in post-World War II Germany is intrinsic to his artistic vision. In an interview granted to the American magazine Artforum, Baselitz referred to the Germany of his youth in the following terms: “I was born into a destroyed order, a destroyed landscape, a destroyed society. And I didn’t want to reestablish an order.” In its stead he would elaborate a distinctive artistic vision and pictorial style.

Over the course of his artistic career, Baselitz has continued to develop his oeuvre, and in doing so often includes references to his earlier pieces. In the series Remix, he re-interprets his own paintings – an act of artistic self-assertion and, at the same time, a reconsideration of perspective after the passing of time. His 2008 work “Geteilter Held (Remix)” is named after his oil painting from 1966 – yet he has taken a completely new approach to the subject. The limited edition on Washi  paper is remarkable in its unique execution: Every page is hand colored, and the colors vary throughout the edition. Each print could almost be considered a one-off.

Daniela Kummle


23 January 1938Born Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschbaselitz, Germany
1956-1957Studied Painting at Berlin-Weissensee Arts Academy, East Berlin, Germany
1957-1963Studied at the Berlin Arts Academy, Berlin, Germany
1977-1983Professor at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Karlsruhe, Germany
1983-1988Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany
1992-2003Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany
Lives and works in Salzburg, Austria


2009Cologne Fine Art Award from the Federal Association of German Galleries and Editions
2009Member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, Munich
2008B.Z. Culture Award, Berlin
2005Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
2004Honorary Professor at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts, Florence, Italy
2004Praemium Imperiale, Tokyo
2003Lower Saxony State Award, Hanover, Germany
2002Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
1999Honorary Professorship at the Royal Academy of Arts, London
1992Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
1987Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
1986Goslarer Kaiserring
1964Villa Romana Award


MoMA, New York City, USA
Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany
Frieder Burda Collection, Baden-Baden, Germany
Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany
German National Collection of Contemporary Art, Bonn, Germany
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Solo Exhibitions

2014Georg Baselitz – Damals, Dazwischen und Heute, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
Georg Baselitz – Farewell Bill, Gagosian Gallery, London, UK
2013Georg Baselitz – Remix, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2012Georg Baselitz, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
2011Baselitz as Sculptor, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
2009Baselitz – 50 Jahre Malerei, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany
Dr. Freud und Andere Musik, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany
Georg Baselitz: 1960-2008, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic
Georg Baselitz – Mrs Lenin and the Nightingale, White Cube – Hoxton Square, London, UK
2007Georg Baselitz – Die Russenbilder, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Georg Baselitz, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
2006Baselitz – Painter, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
2004Georg Baselitz – Bilder, die den Kopf verdrehen, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany
1999Georg Baselitz – Nostalgie in Istanbul, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany
1996Georg Baselitz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
1995Georg Baselitz, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA
1991Georg Baselitz: Malelade, MoMA, New York City, USA
1983Georg Baselitz, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK

Group Exhibitions

2014How Soon Was Now – A Brief History of CFA, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany
2013Give Me Five, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
2012Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Transfiguration, MoMA, New York City, USA
2009Kunst und Kalter Krieg – Deutsche Positionen 1945-1989, German Historical Museum, Berlin, Germany
Die Kunst ist Super! Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany
2008UBS Openings: Paintings from the 1980s, Tate Modern, London, UK
Blood on Paper – The Art of the Book, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
2007Die aufregende Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
What is Painting? Contemporary Art from the Collection, MoMA, New York City, USA
La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2006Homage to Chillida, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
2003Berlin-Moskau Moskau-Berlin 1950-2000, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
Obsessive Malerei – Ein Rückblick auf die Neuen Wilden, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2001Von Rodin bis Baselitz – Der Torso in der Skulptur der Moderne, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
2000Zeitwenden, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Germany
1997Deutschlandbilder, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany
1995La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
1987Berlinart 1961-1987, MoMA, New York City, USA
1982documenta 7, Kassel, Germany
1980La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
1977documenta 6, Kassel, Germany
1972documenta 5, Kassel, Germany