Galerie Catherine Putman is very pleased to show a new exhibition of works on paper by Georg Baselitz.


Georg Baselitz has a place of honour in Paris this autumn with a very large retrospective at the Centre Pompidou covering 60 years of his work: paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints.

Engraving has always had a fundamental position in his art. When he addresses a new subject he works in series and makes simultaneous use of all techniques, considering that they enrich each other mutually.

In 2019, Georg Baselitz began a new body of work on the theme of hands.  Ein Hand ist Keine faust ('A hand is not a fist') shown in the exhibition: the twelve engravings made using acid, aquatint or drypoint form a series of variations of the positions and colours of his own hand. Other prints from a series entitled  Mano, made in the same year in aquatint only, are like imprints, with more abstract and more pictorial traces. There are two versions of these Mano — one gold and one silver. In the engraving process, Baselitz sees the possibility of handling a subject using variation. He is interested in form, a modelled object above all.

The subject of the body—a major theme in western art —is strongly present in his works: naked bodies, portraits or self-portraits, and also isolated members: feet, hands, legs, sexes, etc. He seeks to upset the established order, to shock, to draw reactions and to go forwards. From the first works like Die große Nacht im Eimer ('Big Night Down the Drain') that caused a scandal when it was exhibited in Berlin in 1963, he painted the prominent penis of a hideous person. In 2008, this painting was revisited by a series of Big Night (remix) works. The exhibition includes several examples with a watercolour and wood engravings.

Georg Baselitz often shows bodies upside  down or dismembered and he sometimes depicts only one part, as in the large watercolour 'Sans titre. 25.VIII.2004' shown in the gallery. The body is handled like the 'fractured compositions' of the 1960s that are imbalanced and display disjointed members.

In other works,  members have become 'fragments' considered as autonomous formal objects. This started in 1961 with the series P.D. Fuße (P.D. Feet).

Finally comes the naked body, female or male, his own, ageing and represented with no concessions.  The inversion of the figure that has been almost systematic since 1969 also allows him to keep a distance from the body and depict members that are like entire elements floating in space.




Georg Baselitz

Works on paper

November 20, 2021 - January 15, 2022