Art is visceral and vulgar—it’s an eruption.
Gagosian is pleased to present Years later, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Georg Baselitz. This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery in Hong Kong. Significantly, it is also the first exhibition to open to the public within our international network of galleries since the global COVID-19 lockdown. We are grateful to once again be able to present physical artworks in an exhibition conceived specifically for the Hong Kong gallery and its context, and we look forward to welcoming the public back to view and celebrate the work of a great living master.
An early pioneer of the Neo-Expressionist movement that had its origins in postwar Germany, Baselitz combines a vigorous and direct approach to art making with a sensitivity to art historical lineages. He counts Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston among his key influences, and is known for his uncompromising approach and critical stance. In 1969, he began to compose his images upside down to slow the processes of making, looking, and comprehending. Over the past fifty years, often referring to and reinterpreting his own body of work, he has further augmented his visual language with a range of formal and historical allusions yet has consistently returned to the human figure as his central motif.
This exhibition is focused on a set of thirteen large oil paintings that Baselitz made using a “contact-printing” technique related to the one applied in his series, What if… (2019), which was exhibited at Gagosian San Francisco earlier this year. To create each new black-and-gold painting he uses a stencil to render inverted figures on blank canvas, painting just the panel’s background to generate bold negative silhouettes. Against this ground he presses a black canvas, lifting this second support to produce an image distinguished by a slightly softer look than those made more directly. The hybrid result not only stresses medium over image, but is also distinguished by an element of unpredictability that bespeaks freedom and vitality. In a single painting in pink, the figures are rendered without a stencil as positive images.
With part of their material substance surrendered to the transfer technique, the works in Years later incorporate a palpable sense of organic change and variation; they juxtapose traces of Baselitz’s haptic intervention with marks derived specifically from the contact-printing process. This lends their surfaces a specific tension, while the play of subtle similarities and differences from one panel to the next adds a dynamic rhythm to the series as a whole—a nod to the idea of the human frame in motion. As one image begets another, the figures become less and less distinct and gradually merge with their backgrounds, dissolving subject into context, humanity into reality at large. In these paintings, the dark, chaotic nature of this reality finds its full expression.
A fully illustrated catalogue with a foreword by Zeng Fanzhi and an essay by Lu Mingjun will accompany the exhibition.
A Note to Our Visitors
The gallery will reopen in compliance with the Hong Kong government’s health guidelines regarding social distancing and visitor and staff protection.
巴塞利茲是源於戰後德國的新表現主義運動的先行者，擅長以充滿力量而直接的手法創作，展現他對藝術歷史脈絡的敏銳觸覺。巴塞利茲深受威廉·德·庫寧（Willem de Kooning）和菲利普·古斯頓（Philip Guston）啟發，他亦以堅毅的創作手法和批判態度見稱。於1969年，他開始創作上下倒轉的畫作，以放慢製作、觀賞和理解作品的過程。在過去50年裡，他亦經常借用和重新演繹自己的作品，透過一系列形式上和歷史性的隱喻以擴展其視覺語言，同時持續以人像作為核心主題。
Artist to Artist: Georg Baselitz and Zeng Fanzhi
On the occasion of Georg Baselitz: Years later at Gagosian, Hong Kong, Zeng Fanzhi composed a written foreword for the exhibition’s catalogue and a video message to the German painter. Baselitz wrote a letter of thanks to the Chinese artist for his insightful thoughts.
Georg Baselitz: What if...
Richard Calvocoressi narrates a tour of an exhibition of new paintings by Georg Baselitz in San Francisco, describing the visual effect of these luminous compositions and explaining their relationship to earlier works by the artist.
Georg Baselitz: Life, Love, Death
Richard Calvocoressi writes on the painter’s latest bodies of work, detailing the techniques employed and their historical precedents.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2020
The Summer 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.
On the occasion of a career-spanning exhibition at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, Richard Calvocoressi tracks the evolution of Georg Baselitz’s development from his early education in East Germany to his revelatory trip to Florence, in 1965, and beyond.
Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt
Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.
Taipei Art Book Fair 2020
November 13–15, 2020
Huashan 1914 Creative Park, Taipei
Gagosian is pleased to participate in the Taipei Art Book Fair 2020 as a guest of Taipei Dangdai. Taipei Dangdai has invited its 2020 exhibitors to each showcase three new publications in its booth. Gagosian will present Georg Baselitz: Years Later, which documents a recent exhibition of new works by the artist at Gagosian, Hong Kong; an exhibition catalogue on Brice Marden’s latest paintings and works on paper, which continue the Letter series he initiated in 2006; and Mary Weatherford: I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By, which documents the artist’s 2018 exhibition at Gagosian, New York, featuring large paintings onto which neon light tubes are attached. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at taipeiartbookfair.com.
Georg Baselitz: Years later (New York: Gagosian, 2020)
Georg Baselitz: Years later is available for online reading from May 18 through August 8 as part of the From the Library series. The book documents an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Baselitz opening at Gagosian in Hong Kong on May 21, the first show to open to the public within our international network of galleries since the global COVID-19 lockdown. The bilingual English-Chinese publication includes a foreword by Zeng Fanzhi and essay by Lu Mingjun.
Georg Baselitz: Years later (New York: Gagosian, 2020)
Extended through March 23, 2019
January 24–March 23, 2019
555 West 24th Street, New York