Georg Baselitz — xylographies (Remix)
Past: September 4 → October 23, 2010
The Catherine Putman Gallery, French publisher of Georg Baselitz since 1997, is to unveil a new original series of 6 xylographies, each of which consisting of 6 variations.
Georg Baselitz’s first solo exhibition, held at the Werner & Katz Gallery in Berlin in 1963, provoked such an outrage that some of his paintings, regarded as obscene, were confiscated on ground of public indecency. Those included «Die Grosse Nacht im Eimer» — The Big Night Down the Drain — , now held by the Ludwig Museum in Köln. It represents a malformed male figure masturbating, that could either be identified as Hitler or as Brendan Behan, the Irish poet.
It is from that lewd and outrageous picture that Baselitz created the woodcuts of the ’Big Night’ series, which are to be shown for the first time at the gallery. The artist has been working on what he calls his ’Remixes’ since 2005; a new interpretation of some of his early works, in which he sometimes challenges the inverted figure style that has been his trademark since 1969.
As a genuine painter-engraver, Georg Baselitz assumes his concern to preserve the autonomy of engraving, a technique which, according to him, should be viewed as a ’complementary analysis’ to painting. As a matter of fact, he has stated during an interview with Rainer M. Mason: ’I made some xylographies whenever I felt the need to give a painting its definitive shape.’
Georg Baselitz enjoys confronting materials in a physical manner. Therefore, there is a direct connection between his preference for woodcuts and etchings and his work as a sculptor, which shows through his planing down and gashing of some portions of his ’Big Night’. The characters (represented in the picture) stand out against a dark background by means of bright watercolours the artist has applied onto the paper prior to engraving. Both the themes and the materials he has chosen convey the ambivalent idea of destruction facing creation.
Some watercolours, as well as a selection of other ’Remix’ woodcuts, are also to be shown at the exhibition.
Hans Georg Kern was born near Dresden, in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony, on January 23rd, 1938. In 1956, he got expelled from the Fine Arts School of East-Berlin for ’lack of socio-political maturity’ and moved to West-Berlin. In 1961, he took the nickname of Baselitz after the name of his hometown. He currently lives and works in Munich.
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