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).