Extended through March 23, 2019
There have always been portraits throughout art history. But more important than the subject has always been the artist himself. . . . I call this exhibition Devotion because the people I portray here are especially meaningful to me.
Gagosian is pleased to announce Devotion, new paintings and works on paper by Georg Baselitz.
A pioneering Neo-Expressionist, Baselitz employs raw, painterly gestures to create visceral compositions with an intense emotional charge. By continually reinterpreting artistic precedents—his own previous works included—he has returned the figure to a central place in painting while expanding the very definition of abstraction.
Baselitz’s interest in portraiture emerges from his fascination with memory and its inconsistencies, as well as his observation that every painting—even a portrait of another person—is the artist’s self-portrait. At the Kunstmuseum Basel, he saw Henri Rousseau’s The Muse Inspires the Poet (Marie Laurencin and Guillaume Apollinaire) (1909) and assumed that the depicted couple was Rousseau and his wife—only to discover later that the painting shows the poet Apollinaire and his muse, painter Laurencin. This realization gave rise to a new line of inquiry for Baselitz. Over the past year, he has intensified his ongoing engagement with images of the past, producing paintings and drawings based on artists’ self-portraits. As he works, in paint or ink, he recalls the effects of each portrait and captures them in his own unique style.
In this exhibition, Rousseau reappears, this time alongside the monumental heads of Frank Auerbach, Cecily Brown, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Otto Dix, Nicole Eisenman, Tracey Emin, Philip Guston, Erich Heckel, Joan Mitchell, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Arnold Schoenberg, Clyfford Still, Andy Warhol, and others.
Devotion is much more than an acknowledgement of Baselitz’s inspirations. Each source painting slides through the complex filter that is Baselitz’s eye. And as the portraits materialize before him, Baselitz brings them into physical permanence—uniting past, present, and future at the intersection of formal precision and sincere homage.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a text by Baselitz and an essay by Morgan Falconer.
In May 2019, coinciding with the Biennale di Venezia, a major survey curated by Kosme de Barañano will open at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, the first exhibition by a living artist in the museum.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood on its cover.
Georg Baselitz speaks with Sir Norman Rosenthal on the subject of his latest work. The two discuss these paintings, all depictions of self-portraits by artists from the past and present, and what it means to pay homage.
Morgan Falconer visits the artist’s studio outside Munich to learn more about his newest paintings, a series entitled Devotion.
Recent Works on Paper
February 8–March 24, 2017
Jumping Over My Shadow
September 20–October 29, 2016
West 21st Street, New York
Visit from Hokusai
January 21–March 18, 2016
Visit from Hokusai
November 7–December 19, 2015
980 Madison Avenue, New York