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.