Friday, March 1, 2019

The reconciliation of Baselitz

In Gagosian’s exhibition Devotion of Baselitz, the paintings are hung upside down because of the artist's intention to place his painting between figuration and abstraction. 

The portraits are painted in pale, phantasmagoric colors, on dark, spatial backgrounds. The repetition in both format and appearance strengthens the identity of the show and emphasizes the artist's commitment to showing those characters as parts of a whole, the memory. The figures he chose to represent are the artists that have influenced him throughout his career. 

It is comforting to think that in a world so materialistic and accelerated as ours, Baselitz invites us to an exercise of revision and gratitude for those who have accompanied him throughout his life. It is not easy nowadays to find an exhibition based on something as personal and intimate as a motive; in many cases, contemporary artists become entangled in conceptual issues to legitimize their work. Of course, this attitude of Baselitz would not be enough without a good work to back it up, and in this exhibition, he does just that. 

We find a painter who is perhaps nostalgic but maintains the power of his gesture, the drama of his colors, the mystery of his figures. A Baselitz that looks to the past from the present, with a living painting, of the now.

1 comment:

  1. I also thought that the paintings are really valuable in nowadays. It is not easy to paint such abstract way to express the artist personal emotion. The portraits did successfully describe their own identify, culture and history. Color selections and the thickness of the bush conceptually form the paintings. Moreover, I think the upside down means more than making the painting abstract. There is a purpose behind each design movement. The proportion of the scale seems unusual, but there is clearly more details on face expression than body movement. The overlay parts are also emphasizing the emotion of each characters. Solid and void of the background and figuration makes different levels of conceal and reveal. Everyone has different reflection on his artwork. Thank you for your sharing.