White Cube Bermondsey will present a major exhibition of works by Georg Baselitz, including ‘new large-scale paintings, sculpture and works on paper.’
The exhibition draws together two strands within the artist’s practice: portraiture and the process of ‘remixing’, in which images are repeated and reinterpreted over time using different techniques and mediums.
As described by White Cube: “For the new, monumental paintings installed across several of the galleries, Baselitz took inspiration from Otto Dix’s candid portrait of his elderly parents sitting side by side on a worn-out sofa (The Artists’s Parents, 1924). In these works, Baselitz revisits an early double-portrait of himself and his wife Elke, from 1975 entitled Bedroom, reinterpreting the image using recent polaroids of himself and Elke nude, sitting in a similar position as Dix’s parents. Painted using a predominantly black and white palette, through portraiture Baselitz explores notions of time passing, physicality and the self, themes powerfully addressed in the earlier, celebrated ‘Avignon’ canvases exhibited at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The paintings take on a spectral, transcendent quality, as if seen through a fog that only gradually lifts as we begin to discern the figures, making reception of them slower, and pushing them towards abstraction. This effect culminates in a near-black monochrome installed in White Cube’s South Gallery II.”
“The 9x9x9 gallery is devoted to a new, large-scale bronze sculpture entitled (2015). Roughly hewn in wood and then cast in bronze with Baselitz’s trademark matte black patina, the sculpture presents four almost comically elongated legs dressed in familiar high-heels, extending a recurrent motif that was used most recently in paintings and sculpture exhibited at Glyndebourne and White Cube Hong Kong. On the walls, a new series of prints focus on the theme of the self in relation to the past, taking inspiration from Hokusai’s mysterious, caricatured self-portrait at the age of 83. In this work Hokusai presents himself seated and reaching up with his right hand, pointing to something in the far distance, as if to the vision of a younger self now lost. In Baselitz’s repeated re-interpretations of this image, he shares Hokusai’s intensity, depicting himself using a fragmentary line or brush stroke to suggest a frenetic, latent energy.”
“In the North Gallery, an extensive series of dynamic new drawings again focus on portraiture. In these delicate, candid and colourful works, Baselitz obsessively depicts Elke in a single pose. Sitting on a chair, nude, facing the artist, she is drawn with deft, swiftly executed black lines and filled in with bold washes of colour.”
Georg Baselitz, Wir fahren aus is open to the public 27 April-3 July 2016, White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ, Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm; Admission: FREE
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