Georg Baselitz

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Georg Baselitz was a renowned and influential German painter, sculptor and printmaker, who is ranked amongst the pioneering and leading Neo-Expressionists. Baselitz’s work has fuelled the German artistic wave of painters in the 1970s that led to the rejection of abstraction for intensely expressive paintings that dealt with a recognizable and tangible concept. Georg Baselitz work is the naked and true description of his description of the atrocities and cruelties inflicted by the Nazis in the World War II.

Georg Baselitz was born as Hans-Georg Kern on January 23, 1938, in Deutschbaselitz, Saxonay, Germany. In 1956, he began his artistic training and education at the Academy of Fine and Applied Art in East Berlin, however, soon he was expelled due to some misconduct. In 1957, he was forced to leave East Berlin and move to West Berlin, where he enrolled himself at the Academy of Fine Arts, and completed his PHD. In 1962.

From a very early age, it was clear to Georg that he was interested in German Expressionist art and he was captivated and immersed in the use of natural and unconventional approaches such as folk art, children’s art, non-Western art and the art of madness. In 1963, Georg showcased his work at his first solo exhibition that was held at the Galerie Werner & Katz, in Berlin. The exhibition caused quite a scandal and stir in the art circles for being controversial and compromising with its explicit content, and many of the paintings were confiscated on charges of public indecency. Dejected and disappointed, in 1965, Georg retired to Villa Romana, Florence where he spent the next six months. Shortly after, in 1996, he travelled to Osthofen, where he began experimenting with different techniques of creating woodcuts along with developing several fracture paintings of rural motifs.

During the 1960s, Georg’s interests and artistic perceptions were piqued by the tales and stories of rebels, shepherds and heroes that made his paintings intensely powerful, majestic, emotionally expressive and bold. His paintings contained shocking and unconventionally rebellious techniques and imagery that served to captivate and surprise the viewer, for instance, in 1969, he began to paint upside down. In 1975, Georg decided to move to Derneburg, and later, he made his first visit to the United States, where he visited New York, and Brazil to participate in the Sao Paulo Biennale.

In 1976, his work was showcased at the Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, in Munich. Soon after, he established his own studio in Florence, where he worked until 1981. In 1977, he received his first academic position when he was appointed an instructor at the Staatliche Akademie de Bildenden Kunste, Karlsruhe, Germany. A year later, he was promoted to the rank of a professor. The fame of his talent and skill began to spread and soon, he was firmly established as a prolific and prominent Neo-Expressionist when, in 1980, he was selected to represent Germany at the Venice Biennale.

In 1983, he left teaching at the Akademie in Karlsruhe, and accepted a professorship at the Hoschschule der Kunste in Berlin. In 1987, he established a studio in Imperia, Italy where George experimented with other art and media, for instance, his wood sculptures, woodcuts and etchings were just as captivating and powerful as his paintings. In 1995, he organized his first American retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, in New York. In 2004, he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale prize by the Japan Art Association.

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