The painter Georg Baselitz is born in Deutschbaselitz (Oberlausitz/Saxony) on January 23, 1938 as Hans Georg Kern. The artist takes on the name of his home town as his artist name when moving to West Berlin in 1958.
At first, Baselitz studies at the School of Fine and Applied Arts in East Berlin as of 1956, among his professors are Walter Womacka and Herbert Behrens-Hangler. He is friends with the painters Peter Graf and A.R. Penck. He continues his studies at the West Berlin school of fine arts under the abstract painter Hann Trier.
His early works already express a figurative style. Georg Baselitz shows interest in the topic of Anamorphosis, and also starts dealing with the art of mentally handicapped people, which he encounters in the collection Prinzhorn.
His first one-man show takes place at the Berlin gallery Werner & Katz in 1963. The paintings “Die große Nacht im Eimer” and “Der nackte Mann” are received as sexually so offensive that they are confiscated by the state attorney.
He is awarded a scholarship for the Villa Romana in Florenc in 1965, where he makes the “Helden” (Hero) paintings. The painting “Die großen Freunde” (Big Friends) is part of this series. Baselitz comments on the painting in his third manifesto called “Why the painting ‘Die großen Freunde'(Big Friends) is a good painting!” in 1966.
He moves to Osthofen near Worms the same year. He seeks opportunities of destructing the motif in his works. The “Fraktur” (Fracture) paintings lead Baselitz to turn the motif by 180 degrees, thus placing it upside down. This method of reversion becomes a characteritic feature and makes Baselitz famous, giving him the opportunity to become independent from form and color without doing without the objetc.
Besides paintings, he also makes numerous prints. In the 1960s Georg Baselitz makes mainly woodcuts, the 1970s are dominated by large-size linocuts. He begins sculpting around 1979/80, making figures and heads of wood that he coarsely works on and paints.
His “Remix” works are made as of 2005, Georg Baselitz repaints some of his works, not as heads but as the same motif in a different time, in front of a different background indicating contemporary tendencies. The exhibition “Baselix Remix” is set up in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich in 2006.
Georg Baselitz lives and works in Derneburg and in Italy