The Serpentine art gallery is honored to welcome groundbreaking artist Georg Baselitz to its space for an immersive solo exhibition. Entitled “Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015“, this presentation highlights a host of previously unseen sculptural works by the contemporary artist. A unique opportunity for visitors and art lovers to discover the practice of this outstanding artist.
Born in Saxony in 1938, with a career spanning more than six decades, Georg Baselitz first appeared on the art scene in post-war Germany as a painter. In 1969, he became known for his unique approach of inverting or reversing human forms and other motifs in front of expressionist paintings that attempt to evade content and narrative. The Saxon artist focuses primarily on the form, color and texture of his works, in order to develop new perspectives on the tradition of German Expressionism. He turned to sculptural art only in 1979, where he continued his oscillating exploration between the abstract and the figurative, with the difference that his rough approximations of features and body parts are housed on a wooden support.
The works proposed for this exhibition “Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015” were not intended for public view. They were conceived as sketches, or models in preparation for works in bronze. This primary idea of non-exhibition reinforces the raw, primary aspect of the creations, and accentuates their visual relevance and depth for the viewer. The large-scale sculptures and loose ink drawings on display were all selected in the company of the contemporary artist and taken directly from his studio.
The sculptures of artist are each carved from a single tree trunk, using electric saws, chisels and axes. The lines they carve into the wood are thick, imperious shapes that retain their texture, then reveal distinct indentations and notches on their surfaces. These works are presented at Serpentine South, bordered by the trees of Kensington Gardens, to recall their living forms, original to the forests of Saxony. Through his creations, Georg Baselitz offers an innovative insight into his artistic technique and the process by which each of his works interacts with one another in different artistic media.
The drawings accompanying the wooden sculptures are not preparatory models for the wooden models. Rather, they are drawings made during the sculpting process. The superimposition of these works in different media highlights the relationship between Georg Baselitz’s two-dimensional and three-dimensional processes. The exhibition invites the public to enter a forest of rough-hewn wooden sculptures, while offering a lively exploration of the different possibilities and impossibilities of interpretation between painting, drawing and sculpture.