Georg Baselitz

Georg Baselitz ( born January 23, 1938 in German Baselitz, today a district of Kamenz in Upper Lusatia in Saxony, real name Hans- Georg Kern ) is a German painter and sculptor.

  • 6.1 Germany
  • 6.2 Switzerland
  • 6.3 Miscellaneous


After childhood, school and secondary school in his home Oberlausitzer he began in 1956 to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin -Weissensee ( East Berlin) with Professors Herbert Behrens- Hangeler and Walter Womacka. Even here, his individual personality, so do not correspond to the socialist ideas of the GDR showed. This led after two semesters to reference from college because of " social immaturity". In 1957 he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts under Professor Hann Trier in West Berlin, followed in 1958, the final move to West Berlin. Here he continued to strengthen efforts with the theories of Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Wilhelm Nay and Kasimir Malevich. He traveled to Paris and Amsterdam and was concerned with Antonin Artaud, Jean Dubuffet and the Art of " mentally ill " ( Prinzhorn Collection ).

In 1961 he took the stage name Georg Baselitz, leaning on his birthplace. Together with his colleagues Eugen Beautiful Beck, he designed an exhibition in Berlin and published the (later called ) 1 Pandemoniac Manifesto, published in 1962, both the actual pandemonium ( 2 Pandämonisches manifest). But even in the "West " did not correspond to his works on societal values ​​and norms, which in 1963 led to a confrontation. His pictures Big Night Down the bucket and The naked man on his first solo exhibition in Berlin's Galerie Werner & Katz were the subject of a specifically staged scandal that subsequently led only to the seizure by the public prosecutor, the one with the gallery of friendly art critic in Berlin newspaper had previously fictitious - a case of self-fulfilling prophecy. In the spring of 1965 he was a fellow of the Villa Romana in Florence. 1969 Baselitz painted with the forest on his head his first well-known image in the reverse motif. This was followed in 1970 in the Cologne gallery Franz Dahlem the first exhibition in the exclusive " upside-down " images were on display. In 1971 he moved to Forest on the wine route. Four years later, in 1975, he moved into the castle Derneburg near Hildesheim. In 2006 he sold the castle Derneburg to the U.S. art collector Andrew J. Hall and moved to book, a district of Inning am Ammersee in Upper Bavaria. In the presence of the artist his first outdoor sculpture folk thing Zero was passed in the convent Dalheim to the public on 10th May 2009.

Georg Baselitz is the father of Daniel Blau gallery and Anton Kern.

Artistic creation

Baselitz impressed with his works of modern painting from 1960. With some obscene depictions, especially in the early 1960s, he was highly provocative, but only after 1957 he left both the Art Academy Berlin -Weissensee and finally the GDR because of " civic immaturity" had to, because he does not like arranged for practical use in a combine went, but rather pictures painted by Picasso.

His picture The Great Night Down the Drain (1962/1963; Museum Ludwig, Cologne), which is a boy after masturbating, is his best-known work of this period.

His paintings are characterized by a rough style of painting. His " hero images " as Great Friends ( Museum Ludwig, Cologne) of the 1960s are typical examples.

The fracture images

Mid-60s begins Baselitz to dissect the motifs into strips and re- assemble; his so-called fracture images. This led, inter alia, subject to the 1969 reversal with his picture The forest on the head.

Images, the " upside down "

With these "upside down " still images he became famous worldwide since the mid- 1970s. His works were hanging and hanging out at almost all the major international exhibitions and museums. As in his earlier works, he wanted to lead the viewer the autonomy of painting over the conventional reality in mind. With the snap of his pictures, he took the picture its conventional imaginary content, that made ​​the image object obsolete and therefore abstract. Through the on - the - head - passages in his works, he was able to confront the viewer directly to the organization of color and shape on the scene, undistracted by the personal content of the image. Created vacuous In this way, are Baselitz ' images not interpretable, but merely viewable. The artist is one of Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Joseph Beuys and the expressionist painters of artist - union bridge to his models.

Here it is significant that Baselitz already standing applying the composition of the picture on the head and this then performs equally picturesque. Often there are also traces his finger or footprints in the pictures. Since it is difficult for Baselitz due to the size of the formats to reach all areas equally, he just runs into or over the image.

The Russian Paintings

He created more than 60 " Russian Paintings " between 1998 and 2005. He alienated which he is aware of the youth in the GDR images of socialist realism. They were exhibited in the Hamburg Deichtorhallen 2007/2008.


Baselitz was appointed in 1977 as a professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, where he taught until 1983. From 1983 to 1988, again from 1992 to 2003, he held a professorship at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, which was renamed the University of the Arts Berlin, 2001.

Motivation / Credo Baselitz

After Baselitz his pictures are not caused by interpretation of an object. Every artist has to reject the previous images. Baselitz begins his pictures with discord ( chaos, handicap, taboo, radical ). Surprisingly, then nevertheless represents a harmony in his works. The image must contain what is not yet seen.

Also not before one of its "older " pictures makes Baselitz when changing grip. In its phase of " Remix", he designed the pictures he painted earlier, to a better, more timely and sharper way, so to speak, from a new perspective.


  • 2002: Commandeur de l' Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
  • 2003: Lower Saxony State Prize
  • 2004 Praemium Imperiale Award
  • 2004: Honorary Professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti Florence
  • 2005: Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
  • 2006: honorary citizen of the city of Imperia
  • 2008: B.Z. Culture Prize
  • 2009: Full member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts
  • 2009: Cologne- Fine-Art Award of the Federal Association of German Galleries and Editions

Public collections (selection)


  • Prints and Drawings Dresden
  • Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden
  • National Graphic Arts Collection, Munich
  • Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen
  • Collection Frieder Burda, Baden -Baden
  • Berlin Gallery, Berlin
  • Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
  • Kunstmuseum Bonn
  • Collection of contemporary art of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn
  • Neues Museum Weserburg
  • Chemnitz Art Collections
  • Küppersmühle Grothe Collection, Duisburg
  • Kunstpalais Erlangen
  • Museum Folkwang, Essen
  • Städel Art Institute and Municipal Gallery, Frankfurt / Main
  • Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
  • Sprengel Museum Hannover
  • Museum Palatinate Gallery Kaiserslautern
  • Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe
  • ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art & Media Museum, Karlsruhe
  • Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Christian- Albrechts- University, Kiel
  • Museum Ludwig, Cologne
  • Museum Würth, Künzelsau
  • Morsbroich Museum, Leverkusen
  • Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr
  • Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich
  • State Gallery of Stuttgart
  • Museum Wiesbaden


  • Kunsthaus Zurich
  • Migros Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museo d' Arte Moderna della Città di Lugano


  • Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg / Vienna
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  • Musée d' Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg

Exhibitions (selection)