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Georg Baselitz

Georg Baseltiz (*1938), whose civil name is Hans-Georg Kern, is a German painter, graphic artist and sculptor. He was born in Deutschbaselitz, whose name he adopted as his artist name in 1961, and studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Berlin-Weißensee (district of the city), where he was friends with Ralf Winkler (A. R. Penck), among others. Since he already at this time did not want to subordinate himself to the state systems, he was expelled from the university after the second semester for "socio-political immaturity". He moved to the western part of the city and continued his studies at the Hochschule der bildenden Künste.

Baselitz is known for his neo-expressive paintings, painted with coarse brushstrokes and bold colors. He was inspired by the devastation of World War II. Baselitz said about this in a 1995 interview with Donald Kuspit: "I was born into a destroyed order, into a destroyed landscape, into a destroyed people, into a destroyed society. And I didn't want to introduce a new order. I had seen more than enough so-called orders. I was forced to question everything, to be 'naive' again, to start anew." He expressed himself particularly in painting, but also in printmaking and sculpture. A principle of his work was constant renewal; each of his paintings had to contain something not seen before.

Towards the end of the 1960s, Baselitz took to painting his pictorial motifs turned upside down by 180 degrees, which made his pictures unmistakable and helped him achieve a breakthrough. Especially in his work of the 1960s, he repeatedly violated social conventions, which led to éclat and the confiscation of some of his works.

Baselitz has lived in Salzburg, Austria, since 2013. In recognition of his artistic and material contributions to Austrian art and culture, he received Austrian citizenship in 2015. He has taught at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe and at the Hochschule der Künste/Universität der Künste Berlin.


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