born 1938, Deutschbaselitz, Germany
Georg Baselitz was born Hans-Georg Kern on
January 23, 1938, in Deutschbaselitz, in what was
later East Germany. In 1956, Baselitz moved to
East Berlin, where he studied painting at the
Hochschule für bildende und angewandte Kunst. After
being expelled, he studied from 1957 to 1962 at the
Hochschule der bildenden Künste, West Berlin. During
this period, he adopted the surname Baselitz, taken
from the name of his birthplace.
In searching for alternatives to Socialist Realism and
Art Informel, he became interested in anamorphosis and in
the art of the mentally ill. With fellow student Eugen
Schönebeck, Baselitz staged an exhibition in an
abandoned house, accompanied by the Pandämonisches
Manifest I, 1. Version, 1961, which was published,
together with a second version, as a poster announcing the
In 1963, Baselitz’s first solo exhibition at
Galerie Werner & Katz, Berlin, caused a public scandal;
several paintings were confiscated for public indecency.
In 1965, he spent six months in the Villa Romana,
Florence, the first of his yearly visits to Italy.
Baselitz moved to Osthofen, near Worms,
in 1966, and he began to make woodcuts and started a series
of fracture paintings of rural motifs. During this time, he
also painted his first pictures in which the subject is
upside down, in an effort to overcome the representational,
content-driven character of his earlier work.
In 1975, Baselitz moved to Derneburg, near
Hildesheim, and also traveled for the first time to
New York and to Brazil for the São Paulo
In 1976, a retrospective of his work was organized by the
Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich. He
established a studio in Florence, which he used until
Baselitz was appointed instructor in 1977 and
professor the following year at the Staatliche Akademie
der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe, Germany.
In 1980, his reputation established, Baselitz was
chosen to represent Germany at the Venice Biennale.
During the 1980s and into the 1990s, his work was frequently
exhibited at the Michael Werner Galleries, Cologne
and New York.
In 1983, he left the academy in Karlsruhe to
assume a professorship at the Hochschule der Künste,
Berlin, which he gave up in 1988 but returned to in the
The first volume of the catalogue raisonné of his graphic
work was published in 1983 by Galerie Jahn, Munich.
In 1987, Baselitz established a studio in
Since the late 1980s, solo exhibitions and
retrospectives of Baselitz’s work have been presented
at the Sala d’Arme di Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, in
1988 (traveling to the Hamburger Kunsthalle);
Nationalgalerie, Berlin, in 1990; Kunsthaus Zürich
in 1990 (traveling to Kunsthalle Düsseldorf);
Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich, in 1992
(traveling to Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art,
Edinburgh, and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna);
and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1995
(traveling to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hirshhorn
Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and
The artist lives in Derneburg and Imperia.