Georg Baselitz – snotty poetry

Georg Baselitz – the last German painter prince and one of the few who really deserve this name. For Baselitz’s work is painting at its best. Snotty, clear, direct, unsparing and always poetic. But one thing at a time, because Baselitz is certainly ambivalent. Born in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz in Saxony’s Upper Lusatia, he began his art career in 1956 at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee.

After only two semesters he was expelled from the university for non-conformity. It is easy to understand why, in the decades to come, he repeatedly attracted attention with loud, provocative actions and statements. And finally he achieved worldwide fame by turning his paintings upside down. What should one think of such an imaginative brush? Baselitz is a painter and his statements about painting and art are sometimes simply hair-raising. Perhaps it is due to the political times of his childhood and youth that he felt the urge to politicize art and give things meaning. But we don’t love a Ronaldo for his analytical mind either. For whether the figures in Baselitz’s work are upside down or not is completely irrelevant.

Even if he tries to cover it up, there is brutal precision and uncompromising skill behind the works.

The colour compositions are unique, the brushwork completely clear and purposeful. Even seemingly carelessly brushed structures are just that and nothing else: careless structures. Anatomically skilled drawings are contrasted with pasty colouring and transparent, watercoloured areas fit into the overall arrangement as a matter of course.

Baselitz can twist and turn as he pleases – the man has what it takes! Poetry, vulnerability and tenderness are omnipresent in his works, the wild gesture and the fucked-up disdain for his snotty application of paint are only confirmation of the same. And for this he quite rightly receives the highest admiration.

copyright Tobias Vetter