The artist rejected both nonrepresentational abstraction and narratively driven Social Realism in favor of an enigmatic, symbolic style that addresses the chaos of 20th-century Germany. Baselitz’s canvases depict mythic, often grotesque figures situated in sparse fields or scenes of destruction. They’re usually oriented upside down, a tactic that toys with viewers’ perceptions and conjures a topsy-turvy aesthetic universe. Baselitz studied at the Academy of Arts in East Berlin, got kicked out, then attended the Academy of Arts in West Berlin. He has exhibited in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Hong Kong, Zürich, and Tokyo. His work regularly sells for millions on the secondary market and belongs in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Fondation Beyeler, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Tate. Baselitz has also made drawings, prints, and monumental sculptures.
“ I was born into a destroyed order, a destroyed landscape, a destroyed people, a destroyed society. I was forced to question everything. ”