Georg Baselitz

Georg Baselitz is a German painter, sculptor and graphic artist born Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony in 1938. He studied at the Academy of Art in East and West Berlin and has been living and working in Salzburg, Austria since 2013.


In the 1960s, he emerged as a pioneer of German Neo-Expressionist painting. In 1969, he started painting his subjects upside down in an effort to overcome the representational, content-driven character of his earlier work and stress the artifice of painting. Drawing from a myriad of influences, including art of Soviet era illustration art, the Mannerist period and African sculptures, he developed his own, distinct artistic language, often referring to his post WWII upbringing in Germany. To this day, he still inverts all his paintings, which has become his unique and most defining feature in his work.


Baselitz's work is part of public collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Fondation Beyeler, Basel; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Städel Museum, Frankfurt; and the Tate Modern, London. In 2017–18 a large retrospective of Baselitz's work was presented at the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, and at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.

Georg Baselitz in his studio in Schloss Derneburg, 1983. Photo: © Daniel Blau, Munich.