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Drawings & Notes

18 February 2022
Georg Baselitz | Ohne Titel, 2021 | Ink on paper, 100 x 74.8 cm

Georg Baselitz

Ohne Titel, 2021
Ink on paper
100 x 74.8 cm

Georg Baselitz. Drawings
13 January – 26 February 2022
Anton Kern Gallery

Georg Baselitz
Ohne Titel
, 2021
Ink on paper
66.2 x 50.9 cm

Georg Baselitz
Ohne Titel
, 2021
Ink on paper
66.3 x 50.2 cm

[from the pressrelease]
A drawing is always naked.
— Georg Baselitz 

Made from memory in one sitting over the summer of 2021, the thirteen experimental and dynamic compositions in red and black India ink reconsider past bodies of work in addition to specific, individual images. Some are loosely based on the seminal portrait of Baselitz’s wife, Portrait of Elke I (1969), which marked the beginning of the artist’s inversion of his images and was recently donated by the artist to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

His choice to rework Elke repeatedly over the years in the same familiar poses represents an ever-renewing declaration of love, as well as an intimate reflection on change and stability, on the inevitability of ageing, and on the function of portraiture. New self-portraits and depictions of Elke are on view alongside a drawing derived from the well-known painting Schlafzimmer (Bedroom) (1975). Diverging from his recent black ink drawings, the vibrant flesh-red palette of many of the new works is inspired by Henri Rousseau’s 1895 lithograph La Guerre (The War) and intensifies the fragility and sensuousness of these portraits.

These new works are a vivid reminder that drawing has always been at the core of Baselitz’s practice, the line functioning as the seismograph of the artist’s attitude towards image and motif. Taking a look back at ink works from the late 1950s and early 1960s, the profound influence of French poet, dramatist and visual artist Antonin Artaud, a kindred spirit of sorts, becomes instantly evident. It was out of this investigation that Baselitz developed his unique definition of the role of the artist in society, while simultaneously inventing a deeply original language of drawing and painting. These early motifs were drawn in bold, gnarly lines and high contrast ink washes, held together in bouncy yet slightly unsteady and restless compositions.

Now, Baselitz directs the same existential rigor towards himself and his own oeuvre. The lines, drawn with an ink-wet brush and an almost weightless stroke, allow the liquid to pool and follow the pull of gravity or the blow of air, seemingly trailing an invisible compositional grid, substituting for any indication of background or space. Elke and Georg Baselitz appear and disappear out of the thicket of drawn ink, and even, in a dazzling use of color, to bleed in raw redness. The contours, the disegno, of the human figures are fragmentary, tremulous, but also, at times, fluid and very much alive. This new series is an uncompromising self-investigation of an artist in his 84th year. No outside existential spark is needed. It has been replaced by a lifetime of art making stripped bare.

Georg Baselitz Ohne Titel, 2020 Ink and gouache on paper 248.4 x 176.2 cm
7 October 2020

Joe Bradley

Untitled, 2019
Graphite on paper
23 x 30.5 cm

Works on paper.

Works by: Hurvin Anderson, Milton Avery, Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, Marcel Broodthaers, James Lee Byars, Enrico David, Peter Doig, Jörg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Florian Krewer, Eugène Leroy, Markus Lüpertz, Walter de Maria, Roberto Matta, Henri Michaux, A.R. Penck, Elizabeth Peyton, Francis Picabia, Sigmar Polke, Peter Saul, Raphaela Simon, and Don Van Vliet.
7 October – 22 November 2020
Michael Werner Gallery, New York

Francis Picabia

Untitled, 1933
Colored pencil, ink on paper
27 x 21 cm

Georg Baselitz

Untitled, 1992
Charcoal on paper
86.5 x 61 cm

Roberto Matta

Woman Impaled and Five Other Scenes, 1943
Graphite, crayon on paper
58.5 x 73 cm

Milton Avery

Misty morning, 1959
Watercolor on paper
55.5 x 76 cm

A.R. Penck

Untitled (Standart), ca. 1967-1968
Watercolor on paper
30 x 21 cm

Peter Doig

Untitled, 2015
Charcoal on paper
50 x 70.5 cm

Henri Michaux

Untitled (Mescaline Drawing), 1959
India ink, watercolor on paper
28 x 20 cm

A weblog about contemporary drawing, scribbles, notes and an occasional painting or photograph. Click on images to go directly to original pictures, or on the links to learn more about the artist involved. 

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Drawings & Notes Weblog has been researching contemporary drawing since 2008. We recently left our old spot and moved here. Our old home will stay online, but will not be updated. Over the next period we will constantly update the archives here.