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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, Rome

  • Exhibited

    Rome, Gagosian Gallery, Georg Baselitz: La Grande Notte in Bianco, 23 September-8 November 2008.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Underpinning Georg Baselitz’s practice is an investigation and confrontation of the visceral realities present in German history. Emerging as a pioneer of German Neo Expressionist painting, his work evokes disturbing, unrefined and grotesque subjects. Shocking subject was intended to unsettle the viewer, in order to encourage an awakening that Baselitz believed as vital in the aftermath of World War Two.

    Big Night (Remix), 2008 is a striking example of the artist’s Remix paintings, in which he revisits his successful and provocative earlier works by making new versions of them upon years of reflection. The present lot is an updated version of his most controversial work, The Big Night Down the Drain, 1963, which depicts a faceless figure- often referred to as a young boy- holding an exaggerated phallus. The present lot shows the same figure, however, this time; the gestures of paint appear more rapid and spontaneous. The figure’s transparency appears before us like a ghost rising beyond the picture plane. The overall piece has a sense of vibrancy, due to the brighter colours utilised. Baselitz has transformed the once sombre and melancholic depiction into one that is more radically fresh and liberated. And yet, the subject remains- a flash of the past that never ceases to haunt.

  • Artist Biography

    Georg Baselitz

    Enthusiastically disruptive and perennially iconoclastic, Georg Baselitz stands out as an artistic outlier among Germany’s impressive roster of postwar artmakers. Born in the former German Democratic Republic and expelled from his East German art school for “sociopolitical immaturity,” Baselitz retreated to the West and quickly became known for creatively challenging widespread artistic conventions by painting in a violent and energetic form of representation in gleeful defiance of the prevailing abstract tendencies of the avant-garde following World War II. Baselitz, favoring figuration, painted caustic portraits and kinetic landscapes in the tradition of the German Expressionists before literally upending his practice in the late 1960s by painting upside-down, creating a disarming pseudo-abstract effect that emphasizes surface over substance.

    Baselitz’s work has been widely celebrated for its unapologetic and unconventional innovation as well as for its occasionally confrontational subject matter. Baselitz’s critical breakthrough came in 1963 with the debut of the unabashedly outrageous painting Die groβe Nacht im Eimer, currently in the collection of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, which immediately attracted the attention of the German media and judicial system. This work, and others, set the tone for a long and celebrated career of convention-shattering paintings, prints, and sculptures that are at once stylistically innovative and deferential to the German artistic tradition. Today, Baselitz’s work can be found in major institutions worldwide such as the Museum Ludwig and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

     
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From the Collection of an Important European Collector

141

Big Night (Remix)

2008
oil on canvas
250 x 199.5 cm (98 3/8 x 78 1/2 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'G. Baselitz "Big Night Remix" 15.IV.08' on the reverse.

Estimate
£180,000 - 250,000 ‡ ♠

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 10 February 2016 2pm