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Gagosian presents new paintings by Georg Baselitz in New York - FAD Magazine

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Gagosian presents new paintings by Georg Baselitz in New York

GEORG BASELITZ The Painter in His Bed, 2022 Oil, dispersion adhesive, and plastic on canvas 118 1/8 x 196 7/8 inches (300 x 500 cm) © Georg Baselitz 2023 Photo: Jochen Littkemann, Berlin Courtesy the artist and Gagosian

Gagosian is pleased to announce The Painter in His Bed, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Georg Baselitz in New York.

Over the past six decades, Baselitz has pursued a form of figuration that is direct, provocative, and informed by the history of art. A pioneer of Neo-Expressionism, he began in 1969 to invert his images as a means to focus on the painting process and to slow down the viewer’s perception and comprehension of his works. Often incorporating references to his own previous paintings, Baselitz harnesses uninhibited gestures to create emotionally charged compositions that remain centered on the human form.

The compelling works featured in The Painter in His Bed focus on two motifs: figures in bed and the stag. Defining human and animal anatomy with raw expression, Baselitz negotiates apperception of these subjects through his distinctive painterly approach. Vigorously applying layers of paint, he affixes stretched nylon stockings and sheets of gauze across the upper parts of the paintings or makes monoprinted impressions of their shapes. With these additions, Baselitz extends the innovation of Springtime, his 2021 exhibition in the same space in New York. Dedicated to the spirited provocations of Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwitters, and other Dadaists, the works in Springtime draw upon these artists’ irreverent introduction of everyday materials into the realm of art. Whereas many of the Springtime paintings are exuberantly colored, the new works are dominated by elemental contrasts of black and white.

Channeling masculinity, the hunt, the wild, and northern Europe, Baselitz’s new imagery of the stag resonates with the prehistoric paintings of Lascaux, traditional reverse-glass painting of Saxony, kitsch woodland scenes, and the symbolic use of the animal by artists old and new. Likewise, the bed is a site with alternately erotic and restful associations that ultimately becomes the death bed; Baselitz’s stretched skeins of cloth evoke both blankets and funeral shrouds. In their consideration of these themes, these paintings echo the existential figuration of Philip Guston’s Painter in Bed (1973). With inverted gestures, Baselitz at once embraces and undermines these narratives.

The exhibition in New York shares its title with a panoramic 2022 canvas depicting four inverted stags in white on a black ground, their graphic intensity and the density of brushstrokes increasing from left to right. With energetic linear marks materializing the head and antlers of an inverted deer below and the textured layers of diaphanous fabric above, Hirschrobert (2022) offers a tribute to Robert Rauschenberg, whose iconic Bed (1954) is a wall-mounted combine of a quilt and pillow with applied pencil and splashed paint. Three more large-scale paintings feature the visceral forms of reclining figures positioned horizontally with adhered lengths of white or black fabric representing bedsheets, while Rechts oben ein Kilo zuviel and Miss Francis cha, cha, cha (both 2022) both pair four prone figures, their stocking-clad legs nearly touching. The title of the latter work alludes to Dadaist Francis Picabia with its play on words and gender.

GEORG BASELITZ, The Painter in His Bed, November 9th–December 22nd, 2023, Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street, New York

Opening reception: Thursday, November 9, 6–8pm

An illustrated catalogue with essays by Brooks Adams, Catherine Lampert, and Andreas Zimmermann will accompany the exhibition.

Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011–2015 is on view at the Serpentine Galleries, London, through January 7th, 2024.

About the artist

Georg Baselitz in his studio, Ammersee, Germany, 2023 Photo: Christoph Schaller, Courtesy the artist and Gagosian

Georg Baselitz was born in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Germany, and lives and works at the Ammersee, Germany; in Imperia, Italy; and near Salzburg, Austria.

Collections include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate, London; Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland; and Kunsthaus Zürich. Recent exhibitions include the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015); The Heroes, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2016, traveled to Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2016–17; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 2017; and Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, 2017); Preview with Review, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest (2017); Works on Paper, Kunstmuseum Basel (2018); Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland (2018, traveled to Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC); Corpus Baselitz, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France (2018); Baselitz—Academy, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice (2019); Baselitz: The Retrospective, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2021–22); Georg Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawings, Morgan Library & Museum, New York (2022–23, traveled as 100 Zeichnungen to Albertina, Vienna, 2023); Georg Baselitz zum 85: Geburtstag, Museum Würth 2, Künzelsau, Germany (2023); and Baselitz: Naked Masters, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna (2023). In 2019, Baselitz was elected to the Académie des beaux-arts in France.

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