George Baselitz

Georg Baselitz (1938), Painter, 1969. Collection Kunstmuseum Basel. Photo: Kunstmuseum Basel, M. P. Bühler

The Department of Prints and Drawings of the museum honours Georg Baselitz (1938) with a retrospective of his graphic oeuvre. One hundred large-format and color drawings offer insight into a probing engagement with the medium that spans six decades. The early drawings reflect the artist’s grappling with tradition and his pugnacious opposition to the dominant tendencies of the time. Recurring themes such as the heroes, the eagle, and the self-portrait contrast with the artist’s continual stylistic and methodical experimentation. An especially radical innovation comes in 1969, when he turns his motifs upside down, drawing the beholder’s attention to form and color rather than subject matter without abandoning figuration altogether.