From November 21, 2009, to March 14, 2010, the Museum Frieder Burda
and Baden-Badens Staatliche Kunsthalle are exhibiting a comprehensive survey of the German artist Georg Baselitz, featuring approximately 140 works. "Baselitz: A Retrospective" is presented at the two neighbouring museums, with the Museum Frieder Burda displaying "50 Years of Painting" and the Staatliche Kunsthalle "30 Years of Sculpture". The show was curated by the artist Georg Baselitz himself, along with Götz Adriani from the Museum Frieder Burda and Karola Kraus from the Staatliche Kunsthalle.
Georg Baselitz is one of the worlds most famous and sought after contemporary artists. It is thanks to artists such as Georg Baselitz, that German Painting has developed its current, unprecedented reputation. For many years now, Baselitzs works have been found in nearly all the important museums and collections worldwide. His personal exhibitions, from the exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1995, to the exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2007, have generated broad public interest.
50 years of painting at the Museum Frieder Burda
The Museum Frieder Burda continues a series of exhibitions based on loans from important private collections that began with the "Sigmar Polke Show" in 2007, and continued with the "Gerhard Richter Exhibition" in 2008. The retrospective of Georg Baselitzs work is predominantly displaying loans from the internationally renowned private collections of Josef Froehlich, Sylvia and Ulrich Ströher, Friedrich Christian Flick, Uli Knecht and Frieder Burda as well as 15 works owned by Georg Baselitz. Featuring around 80 paintings and 40 works on paper, from early figurative to recent works, the exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to consider Georg Baselitzs achievements over five decades. Particularly since a second hanging and rearrangement is scheduled for mid January 2010. This second half of the exhibition, that is focusing on additional paintings of the last 50 years, is to be curated by the artist himself.
During his 50 years of activity, Georg Baselitz has produced a large and varied body of work, opening up new paths and establishing new artistic standards. The "Hero" paintings of the mid-1960s consist of confusing figures portrayed in a monumental, heroic style, challenging the classical portrait painting. A total of nine examples of this famous series are on display at the Museum Frieder Burda. The dissolution of forms in 1966 leads up to Baselitzs "Fracture" paintings, in which the motifs are taken apart and then re-composed. This liberation from the depiction of content and meaning climaxes in 1969 with the so-called "Upside Down" paintings. Figures, portraits, still life paintings, landscapes, animal representations all are painted on their head, thus proving Baselitzs delight in experimentation and establishing his worldwide reputation.
30 years of sculpture at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
The exhibition at the Staatliche Kunsthalle entitled "30 Years of Sculpture" focuses on the artists sculptural work. In each of the nine sky-lighted exhibition halls, works from nine different periods are presented, starting with 1979s "Modell für eine Skulptur" - Baselitzs first sculpture - and continuing through to his latest sculpture "Volk Ding Zero". Sculptures with direct correlation to particular paintings are displayed in juxtaposition to them. Much as the painter Baselitz prefers a liberated way of painting with regard to content and brushwork, the sculptor Baselitz employs an elemental and unpolished technique for his carvings, utilizing chainsaw, axe and chisel. His sculptures, as his paintings, reject all forms of harmony and symmetry. The jagged lines express a rigorous willfulness which is intentionally manifested in a rude display of force. Each figure is a product of this raw forcefulness and derives its unmistakeable appearance from it. Baselitz began sculpting in 1979, when he came to the conviction that sculpture could translate the power of representation in a more direct way than painting, and that its language was easier to decode.
His early sculptures, though invoking the human form, do not recall specific people but are carriers of artistic concepts. Being aggressively hewn from maple, lime, red beech or cedar tree trunks without any technical elegance, Baselitzs sculptures often give the viewer the impression of looking at wounded figures.