Artist Focus: Georg Baselitz

25 March MMXII
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Baselitz’s towering portraits

Let me explain: I love Gerhard Richter. I’m infatuated with Richter the way I love Madonna right now—which is to say a lot and this dates me horribly. My rambling aside, I still remember a Richter exhibit I saw with my best friend Richard in San Francisco at SFMOMA and that was almost ten years ago in 2003.

Georg Baselitz, on the other hand, has never really sent me into aesthetic rapture. He’s seemed like Gerhard’s less talented cousin to me, like Britney Spears is to Madonna. Baselitz is good, sometimes great, but you always felt there was better out there.  But this last exhibit at mega-gallery and tastemaker Gagosian in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York knocked it out of the park.

My new friend, the vivacious Rebecca Taylor, director of communications for art arbiter MoMA PS1, was my guide for the day. She was immediately struck by Baselitz’s energy and beauty and shared wonderful insights similar to the curator, who wrote,

Genderless, abject bodies surge with color and life, washed with swathes of translucent sky blue and orange, contrasting with black and white corollary that fills the other half of the canvas.

“Abject bodies” sounds creepy in print, but in person, the effect is absolutely engaging. If you get a chance to see them, please go. The picture doesn’t capture the amazing scale of the work, which was easily over 10’ high. The portraits mesmerize. Just like Madonna, this exhibit is head and shoulders above 90% of the so-called “art” we are forced to endure in the name of culture.

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( Tags ) Art