Georg Baselitz: A Focus on the 1980s

The first exhibition to focus on Baselitz’s breakthrough 1980s seminal paintings and previously unseen works, drawings and earliest sculptures brought together for this show.

In 2018, as Georg Baselitz celebrates his 80th birthday, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac London presents the first exhibition to focus solely on his work from the 1980s – the decade that saw the artist propelled to international fame, garner widespread critical acclaim and, at times, scandalise the art world. Through paintings, sculptures and works on paper, Georg Baselitz: A Focus on the 1980s will trace the artist’s shift towards a freer, more expressionist application of paint and use of colour, resulting in works of astonishing vigour and formal power.

The exhibition presents seminal works from each of the series Baselitz developed during this decade – his Strandbilder [Beach Pictures], Orangenesser [Orange Eaters] and Trinker [Drinkers] – including works that have toured internationally but are yet to be exhibited in the UK, and those that will be shown for the first time since created in the 1980s. The survey of this pivotal decade provides a focus on both the breakthroughs of Baselitz’s painterly techniques and the sources from which his later series of works stem. His works on paper included in the exhibition – portrait heads that evoke religious icons, drawings for the Strandbilder [Beach Pictures] and untitled figure sketches – represent a parallel strand to his paintings, demonstrating the development of his personal iconography across media. In contrast to his painting technique of layering wet pigments on the canvas, the decisive graphic lines and strong contours of Baselitz’s drawings share a close affinity with his sculptures. Both show direct traces of the artist’s hand, whether as strokes of graphite and ink on paper or the marks of chisel, axe and chainsaw used to carve his sculptures from a single block of wood. The sculptural works in the exhibition include some of Baselitz’s earliest wood carvings, such as a totemic standing form that prefigures his more recent self-portraits.

Duration 02 October 2018 - 10 November 2018
Cost Free
Venue Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Address Ely House, 37 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NJ
Contact 4402038138400 / /

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