Georg Baselitz


The authorized monograph on one of the most influential and respected artists of our time, written with the full co-operation of Baselitz himself


ISBN: 9780500094150 Category:

Richard Calvocoressi


A prolific artist with a protean output, Georg Baselitz has rethought the conventions of a range of media, predominantly painting and sculpture, over the course of a career of some sixty years. Born in 1938, Baselitz was expelled from art school in East Berlin in 1956 for ‘socio-political immaturity’, and moved to the western half of the city. By the late 1950s, he had rejected the dominant tendencies of both sides of the country and his singular achievement was to reintroduce the figure, compromised and discredited though it was by both Nazism and Communism, into art. By drawing attention to art by ‘outsiders’, such as psychiatric patients, and invoking a Parisian model of existentialist art and literature, Baselitz proposed an alternative European tradition that did not eliminate the human subject.

In alluding later to movements in German painting such as Expressionism as well as to artists like Munch, he also consciously rehabilitated the kind of art that was condemned by Hitler as ‘degenerate’. The book follows the development of Baselitz’s unique style from his earliest work through to the most recent creations of his eighth decade. Calvocoressi’s masterful construction of a chronological narrative helps us to evaluate Baselitz’s work in terms of the disruptions of his life – historical upheavals witnessed alongside an astonishing career.

With 406 illustrations in colour

Additional information

Weight 3172 g
Dimensions 26.1 x 39.6 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 13 May 2021
Number of pages 392
Format Hardback
Dimensions 26.1 x 39.6 cm
Weight 3172 g


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Richard Calvocoressi is currently a director at Gagosian Gallery, and is a former Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He wrote the catalogue text for Baselitz's first exhibition in a commercial gallery in London, and in 1983 was author of the main catalogue essay for his first retrospective in Britain at the Whitechapel Gallery. As curator responsible for German art at Tate, Calvocoressi was instrumental in the acquisition of his works for the UK national collection.