Talking with Baselitz

“Georg Baselitz,” Royal Academy of Arts, London. Through Dec. 9.

The exhibition includes works produced over the five decades of Baselitz’s career, from his earliest paintings, dealing with his own existential problems within German society in the post-war period, to his ‘Fracture’ and ‘Upside-Down’ paintings. Also included are some recent works which revisit themes explored earlier in his career. In the Telegraph, Baselitz talks to Martin Gayford about his evolution from painting’s bad boy to eminence grise. “‘I am completely convinced that art doesn’t depend on a group will, moral factors, or ideals,’ Baselitz says. ‘It depends on individuals.’ So art doesn’t progress in an orderly way; instead, it is a series of instinctive reactions against what came before. Its historical logic can only be seen, if at all, in retrospect. ‘At the time that picture of mine created a scandal because it wasn’t painted the way that Manet would have done it. So I was seen as a bad student, a bad man, an idiot. Now the audience have got used to it, and are happy with it. So young people come along and say, that’s all crap, and do things that are controversial all over again.'” Read more.

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