Georg Baselitz – Die Helden

Max Hollein, Eva Mongi-Vollmer (ed.). Exhib'publication. Städel, Frankfurt. Hirmer 2016. Contributors: U. Fleckner, M. Hollein. A. Kluge et al. German. 166 pages, 100 ill. 24 x 30 cm. 1,1 kg. Paperback with flaps. 9783941399600. art-29488
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In 1965/66 Georg Baselitz created the monumental series “The Heroes” and “New Types”, which he presented in wild colour and with defiant style. By turning his attention towards the tradition of representational painting his work formed a striking contrast to the trends towards abstraction and Expressionism prevailing during the 1960s, thereby embarking on his own unique path.

In his sceptical basic attitude towards post-war Germany Baselitz (* 1938) emphasised in his works the ambivalent aspects of the present in which he lived. His “Heroes” appear correspondingly contradictory with their military fatigues in tatters, their failure as deeply engraved as their resignation. The contrast to the success story of Western Germany’s economic miracle could hardly be more sharply defined, but there is more at stake: with this group of works the artist reflected his own position in relation to society. It was the artist’s self-assertion and determination of identity that were at stake and that Baselitz formulated so forcefully.