Georg Baselitz - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The artist
    Private Collection, London

  • Exhibited

    London, Anthony d’Offay Gallery, Hammergreen: New Paintings by Georg Baselitz, October 16 – November 23, 1991
    Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Georg Baselitz, October 21, 1995 - January 5, 1997
    Aarhus, Denmark, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Inaugural exhibition for the new ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, April – September, 2004

  • Literature

    Hammergreen: New Paintings by Georg Baselitz , exh. cat., Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, 1991, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “You can seduce with color. You can manipulate with colour. I use them calculatedly.” GEORG BASELITZ

    A quiet trepidation suffuses the present lot by Georg Baselitz. The composition is purposively uneasy. Behind the black marks which dominate the foreground, lurk colors belonging to a woodland scene. Yet this is no pastoral idyll; the purple lines which skirt the outer edges of the painting bespeak anxiety and agitation. The paint seems to have been applied fretfully, recalling the brushwork of Baselitz’s forebear Willem De Kooning. Like much of Baselitz’s work, Gelb no, from 1991 is fraught with tension. It is a characteristically ominous work in which abstract forms assume the power to unsettle.

    Although often considered a pioneer of German Neo-Expressionism, Georg Baselitz is wary of categorization: “First of all, I am not a representative of anything. When art historians or critics or the public put somebody in a drawer like this, it has a tranquilizing, paralyzing effect. Artists are individuals.” (Georg Baselitz in conversation with Deborah Gimelson, "New Again: Georg Baselitz," Interview Magazine, June 1995) This is a typically defiant gesture. From the very early years of his career, Baselitz has courted controversy, often creating uncomfortable and lurid works. His 1962-3 painting Die große Nacht im Eimer depicted a small and fleshy figure in the act of masturbation. Abrasive and unapologetic, it provoked scandal and was subsequently confiscated. The painting, however, was more than puerile provocation; it was an attempt to reclaim art’s potential to unsettle, and to respond the unease of post-war Germany. This tendency to disturb and antagonise persists in much of Baselitz’s work. Whether creating sculpture or his signature upside-down paintings, as seen in the present lot, his pieces bear the marks of fear and distress. Human and natural forms alike appear in distorted and disquieting configurations.

Ο ◆50

Gelb No

oil on canvas
118 x 98 1/2 in. (299.7 x 250.2 cm)
Signed, titled and dated "G Baselitz 10.IV.91 20.IV.91 'Gelb no'" on the reverse.

$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $389,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm