German, b. 1938, Deutschbaselitz, Germany,
based in Munich and Imperia, Italy
In the 1960s Georg Baselitz emerged as a pioneer of German Neo-Expressionist painting.
His work evokes disquieting subjects rendered feverishly as a means of confronting the
realities of the modern age and explores what it is to be German and a German artist in
a postwar world. In the late 1970s his iconic “upside-down” paintings, in which bodies,
landscapes, and buildings are inverted within the picture plane, ignoring the realities of the
physical world, make obvious the artifice of painting. Drawing upon a dynamic and
myriad pool of influences, including art of the Mannerist period, African sculptures,
and Soviet era illustration art, Baselitz developed a distinct painting language.
Major retrospectives of his work have been held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
(1983; traveled to Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and Kunsthalle Basel); Centre Pompidou,
Paris (1993); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995;
traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,
Washington, DC, and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1996);
and Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007). Baselitz has represented Germany at the Venice Biennale (1980)
and participated in Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany (1982).