According to Swiss radio, if you have a Balthus exhibition, you should be prepared for protests. The Fondation Beyeler in Basel nevertheless dares to do so.
How deeply the traumas of the Nazi era and the Second World War, as well as all the consequences including the Cold War, are located can be measured to some extent if one listens to Georg Baselitz – for example in the artist talk that curator Moritz Schwander conducted with the jubilarian on February 16 at the Fondation Beyeler. Despite his pleasure in providing information, which manifests itself in numerous interviews, Baselitz is and remains perhaps the most hermetic and at the same time most expressive of the German generation of painters who turned to figuration again in the 1960s. The representatives of this group – mostly bearded, massive-looking men – come predominantly from teacher families and are most likely from Saxony or neighbouring Bohemia and Silesia. Despite all their heterogeneity, they combine flight destinies with the subsequent experience of being a stranger.
The world is so simple that anyone can live in it, but so complex that no one can explain it. It’s that simple. Well, you might not be able to break it down that easily, because there are people who have problems to survive in the world. Sometimes it may be their fault, but often it is without their own fault. With my introduction I only want to suggest that the world is actually so simple that most people find their way in it and lead an everyday life. But when it comes to explaining the world, you have to be careful not to despair.
I create works of art by being interested in the world – always looking for new inspiration. For me, a work of art, whether material or not, is a means to an end. A waste product. What interests me most is the path to the work. The lived inspiration. Therefore I deal with topics so intensively that the ideas rush through my head and create a lasting intoxication.
Pictures rarely come alone. Once they have entered the world, they remain in our collective memory, are carried on and changed. This is how Aby Warburg, one of the greatest art historians, formulated it at the beginning of the 20th century and named the phenomenon a pathos formula. He explained this for the first time in Dürer’s drawing “Death of Orpheus”. Continue reading…