Curated by Norman Rosenthal
From Sun, 18 May 2008
To Mon, 15 September 2008
Georg Kern, born in 1938 at Deutschbaselitz, in Saxonia, from which derives his nom d’art, Georg Baselitz, is universally recognised as one of the most famous and prolific German artists. Painter, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor, Baselitz began studying painting at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in East Berlin in 1956 but was expelled after only one term for “socio-political immaturity”. After moving to West Berlin in 1956, he picked up his art studies in 1957 and completed them in 1962.
In his early years, he was influenced by the art and the writings of important artists and thinkers such as Kandinsky, Malevich, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Samuel Beckett and the French dramatist and artist, Antonin Artaud. Subsequently, he became deeply involved in and inspired by art produced by mentally disturbed people and other outcasts. Likewise, his work was influenced by traditional African art, by French and Italian mannerist painting and by 16th-century prints, as also by a profound feeling for ornament and decoration.
The works for which he is most famous are the inverted paintings, works in which the subject is shown upside down and which he first started producing at the end of the 1960s. The artist overturns space and presents it in a dimensional different to the usual one in order to liberate the subject from his surroundings. Baselitz’s aggressive and often disturbing art sometimes concentrates on semi-abstract figures, but also animals and landscapes which give out a sense of hostility and isolation through a style that remains unique. With these paintings, Baselitz has discovered a new language that has enabled him to combine the principles of abstraction with those of realism, but also philosophically to “turn the world upside down”, a leitmotif that would later recur frequently in his work.
At the MADRE, the works are laid out in chronological order, making it possible for the visitor to follow all of Baselitz’s artistic development through his long and prolific career. The exhibition opens with canvases from the early 1960s: the presence of Die Große Nacht im Eimer of 1962, in particular, renders tangible the carnality described in Artaud’s texts; Rebell (1965) and Der Baum (1966), displayed in the following rooms, belong to the series called Hero Paintings, in which the artist paints symbolic figures depicting them as heroes, alone and often in the act of crossing earthly landscapes; these are followed by extraordinary examples of his “fracture” paintings, dating from the late 1960s, and on to his “inverted” pictures such as Schlafzimmer of 1975. The exhibition also explores his recent return to motifs which he explored in his youth and are now executed in a more transparent and linear manner under his title of Remixes; the exhibition ends with the presence of three sculptures and many drawings. For the first time, his painting of Orangenesser, dated 1982, will be shown alongside the series of preparatory studies for its realisation.
Location Naples, MADRE Museum – Via Settembrini 79, Naples
Information and bookings: Telephone: 081 19313016
(Monday-Sunday: 10.00 AM – 8.00 PM)
Opening hours from Monday to Friday 10.00 AM – 9.00 PM
Saturday and Sunday 10.00 AM – Midnight
Tickets Adults: € 7.00
Concessions: € 3.50
Audio guide € 4.00
How to reach the museum
from Capodichino airport
and Central Station: Taxi (around 10/15 minutes)
By bus: bus number 3S departing every 15 minutes. Alight at Central Station (Piazza Garibaldi).
Alibus: departing every 30 minutes. Alight at Central Station (Piazza Garibaldi). From here take the metro Line 2 to Cavour which is around 200 metres from the museum.
The exhibition is included in the Campania Artecard circuit www.campaniartecard.it
MADRE Press Office
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Carolina Perreca: tel. +39 081 4297435 fax +39 081 4297433 e-mail: email@example.com