Georg Baselitz - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 14, 2022 | Phillips
  • "If I place one of my old pictures next to them, like this picture from 1975 […] it looks like an archaeological find, something I dug up. This is how they relate to each another."
    —Georg Baselitz 
    Executed in 2007, the impressively-scaled Dr. Dumouchel (Remix) is a key piece from Georg Baselitz’s acclaimed Remix series, which he started working on just two years before. Revisiting some of his most provocative compositions via photographs and catalogues, the German artist generated an innovative new body of work which addressed questions of permanence and change, originality and our relationship to history. Appearing like ghostly echoes from the past, these remixed paintings speak to our compulsion to repeat, and of what German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche described as the pattern of ‘eternal return’. 


    Installation shot of Georg Baselitz: Remix, at Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, 2008. The present work can be seen hanging on the right. Artwork: © Georg Baselitz 2022

    Inversion and Repetition 

    Born under the shadow of World War II, a preoccupation with Germany’s traumatic history and its national identity has been a consistent thread throughout Baselitz’s oeuvre, the artist famously stating ‘What I could never escape was Germany, and being German.’i Obliquely addressing this legacy in 1969 Baselitz produced his first inverted compositions, a way of reflecting on the experience of living in a world turned upside down, and to draw attention to painting ‘as a self-contained object without abandoning tradition.’ii While these inverted canvases can be seen as the artist staging a dialogue with political and aesthetic histories, the Remix paintings focus more squarely on the question of Baselitz’s own artistic legacy and production. Reflecting on the series, Baselitz has explained:

    ‘Since I discovered the idea of remixing or revisiting old images, a great deal has changed. Now I work exclusively with old material, in the form of photocopies, drawings, and illustrations from catalogues. Onto what had its own integrity at the time, I now impose another method, sometimes even a different style or different colours, quite specific colours, or at other times only a smearing of white and a drawing on top of it. I try to retain one thing. The original stimulus. It was a different painter who did those earlier works. It was me, to be sure, but in a different spirit with a different intention.’ 
    —Georg Baselitz 


    Duchamp and the Chambermaid

    Painted on a white ground covered in vibrant purple polka dots, Dr. Dumouchel (Remix) presents an amorous couple in a locked embrace. Conflating eroticism and humour, the rapid, graphic style evokes the ageing Picasso’s erotic Vollard Suite drawings, only to deflate their anxious emphasis on masculine virility. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to Baselitz himself, the aquiline nose and high forehead of the male figure in the present work in fact represent French Dadaist Marcel Duchamp.


    The work is a remix of an earier body of paintings including Frisch verliebt – M. D, Melodie, and, Im Walde von Blainville that Baselitz had also used as the basis for Marcel Duchamp and the Chambermaid, a print first made for the Musée du Caen in 2002. The present work is one of several iterations on the motif presented together at Georg Baselitz: Remix with Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris in 2008. In revising this motif over several iterations across the small series, Baselitz paired the caricatured Duchamp with patterned backgrounds that seem to nod to certain art historical touchstones: the grid of Piet Mondrian and here, perhaps, a reference to another great self-revisionist, Edvard Munch who returned to the purple-flecked wallpaper of his Weeping Women composition several times over his career. Acknowledging a debt to Munch in the origins of the Remix series Baselitz has explained: ‘Munch has always been a touchstone for me. It was then that I learned that he had painted his most successful compositions as many as twenty-seven times over the years.’iv

    Edvard Munch, Weeping Woman, 1907, Munch-Museet, Oslo, Norway. Image: Luisa Ricciarini / Bridgeman Images

    Of course, Duchamp himself was highly self-referential, even going so far as to create a miniature portable ‘museum’ of his earlier Readymades in his Boîte-en-valise. Although Dr. Dumouchel (Remix) features the revisited caricature of Duchamp, the work’s title makes a further reference to the Dadaist, directly invoking an early and unusually Expressionistic portrait. Painted in 1910, Duchamp’s Portrait of Dr. Dumouchel depicts his childhood friend, Raymond Dumouchel, standing in three quarter profile with the fingers of his left hand spread wide and exaggerated in their proportions. In contrast to the controlled palette of olive and forest greens that ground the composition, Duchamp has added a vibrant pink aura around the outline of his figure, drawing particular attention to the splayed hand. Visual resonances to this early painting abound in the present work, particularly in the economic modelling of the figure’s head and the rich pink tones employed by Baselitz in this particular iteration of the Duchamp and the Chambermaid motif.


    While Duchamp would ultimately turn away from painting, Baselitz reinforced its importance, proposing new directions for the medium in the specific contexts of post-war Europe. Refocusing attention on the painterly attributes of form, texture, and surface, in referencing Duchamp’s early painting, Baselitz draws us back to a time before the so-called ‘death’ of the medium in favour of the more conceptual, ‘non-retinal’ approaches later advocated by the chess-playing artist. In remixing these older compositions Baselitz isn’t simply recreating old works, but brining them into focus with the present, interrogating the past as he does.

    Left: Marcel Duchamp, Portrait of Dr Dumouchel, 1910, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Image: © Philadelphia Museum of Art / The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950 / Bridgeman Images, Artwork: © Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2022
    Right: Detail of the present work


    Collector’s Digest 

    • One of the most significant German artists to emerge from the post-war era, Georg Baselitz’s painting is rooted in these cultural contexts.

    • Baselitz’s works are included in the permanent collections of The Tate Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, and the Berlinsche Galerie, amongst others.

    • The subject of many solo exhibitions in cities around the world including New York, London, Paris, Berlin, and Hong Kong, he has most recently been honoured with a significant retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Pompidou which explored his six-decade career in detail.

    • A ‘remix’ of his 1999 work Frisch verliebt – M. D, the present work belongs to a small series of reinterpretations of this theme first presented at Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris in 2008. 


    i Georg Baselitz, quoted in Norman Rosenthal, Baselitz, Michigan, 2007, p. 36. 
    ii Richard Calvocoressi, Georg Baselitz, London, 2021, p. 140.
    iii Georg Baselitz, quoted in ‘Georg Baselitz in conversation with Robert Fleck’, in Georg Baselitz and Robert Fleck, Georg Baselitz: New Paintings and Sculpture, New York, 2012, p. 9. 
    iv Georg Baselitz, quoted in ‘Georg Baselitz in conversation with Robert Fleck’, in Georg Baselitz and Robert Fleck, Georg Baselitz: New Paintings and Sculpture, New York, 2012, p. 16. 

    • Provenance

      Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2008

    • Exhibited

      Paris, Thaddaeus Ropac, Georg Baselitz: Remix, 20 February – 29 March 2008, pp. 18-19, 56 (illustrated, p. 57)


Dr. Dumouchel (Remix)

signed, titled and dated ‘30.IX.2007 Remix G. Baselitz Dr. Dumouchelle’ on the reverse
oil on canvas
300 x 250 cm (118 1/8 x 98 3/8 in.)
Painted on 30 September 2007.

Full Cataloguing

£300,000 - 500,000 ‡♠

Sold for £615,400

Contact Specialist

Rosanna Widén
Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+44 20 7318 4060

Olivia Thornton
Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe
+44 20 7318 4099

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 14 October 2022