Gagosian is pleased to present Springtime, an exhibition of new paintings by Georg Baselitz.
Throughout his long and distinguished career, Baselitz has combined a direct and provocative approach to making art with an openness to art historical lineages, counting among others Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston as his key influences. In 1969, he began composing the inverted images for which he has become best known to slow the processes of making, looking, and apprehending. During the past fifty years, he has augmented his visual language with a range of formal and historical allusions while consistently returning to the human figure. Often he reinterprets—cannibalizes—his own work.
Just as the exuberant provocations of Dada—as seen in the work of Hannah Höch, George Grosz, and others—emerged out of the catastrophes of the First World War, so does Baselitz’s title herald a spirited reawakening from the ravages and restrictions of the current pandemic. In this new series, he has, for the first time, introduced the idea of collage by gluing pairs of nylon stockings onto canvases and painting over and around their diaphanous forms in white, black, or gold. In some paintings, these stocking-figures remain distinct from their backgrounds, while in others, printed impressions replace the hosiery itself, their stretched forms snaking from multihued “skirts” of expressive splatters, like plants from undergrowth. Here, the stockings retain their associations with the human body while also evoking both botanical and abstract forms.
Art historian Eric Darragon, in his essay on the exhibition, cites numerous indicators of stockings’ extensive history in cinema as well as in art, tracing their appearances in such classic films as Francois Truffaut’s La Peau douce (The Soft Skin) (1964) and Mike Nichols’s coming-of-age narrative, The Graduate (1967); or Degas’s images of dancers and Egon Schiele’s confrontational nudes. As a kind of collegial memory, Baselitz has titled several of the paintings in reference to women artists, including Helen Frankenthaler, Sarah Lucas, and Kiki Smith.
Springtime attests to Baselitz’s seemingly infinite capacity for artistic renewal, innovation, and tongue-in-cheek irreverence while continuing to harness the resilience of his distinctive methods and motifs. The appearance of the stockings, literally preserved in paintings such as Start ins Unbekannte (Off into the Unknown) (2020) and Freier Flug (Free Flight) (2020) serves to underscore the fleeting and enduring qualities that coexist there, drawing together an unexpected network of connections among images from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
An illustrated catalogue with a text by Eric Darragon will accompany the exhibition.
Springtime overlaps with the exhibition Archinto at the Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, and anticipates Baselitz’s retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, which will open on October 20.
555 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10–1 and 2–6
Walk-ins welcome, but subject to capacity.
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.
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: 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.
Richard Calvocoressi, Max Hollein, and Katy Siegel on Georg Baselitz
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 1pm edt
Join Gagosian for a conversation about Georg Baselitz with Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Katy Siegel, Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair at Stony Brook University, New York, and senior curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art; and Richard Calvocoressi, art historian and director at Gagosian, London. In celebration of the forthcoming monograph on Baselitz written by Calvocoressi and published by Thames and Hudson, the trio will look at the artist’s prolific career. They will highlight the exhibitions Springtime at Gagosian, New York, and Archinto at the Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, both opening in May 2021, and the recent gift by the artist and his wife, Elke Baselitz, of six landmark paintings to the Met, which are on view at the museum in Pivotal Turn through July 2021. Hollein curated the major traveling exhibition Georg Baselitz: The Heroes (2016–17) and authored the accompanying catalogue on this seminal body of work. Siegel wrote the insightful essay “Double Positive: Not for Not against Not Nein—Georg Baselitz,” published in the exhibition catalogue for Georg Baselitz: Back Then, in Between, and Today (2014–15) at Haus der Kunst, Munich. To join, register at eventbrite.com.
Left: Richard Calvocoressi. Photo: Miriam Perez. Middle: Max Hollein. Photo: courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art/Eileen Travell. Right: Katy Siegel. Photo: Christopher Myers
Extended through March 23, 2019
January 24–March 23, 2019
555 West 24th Street, New York