Press Release

Georg Baselitz. The Heroes

  • Dates: July 14–October 22, 2017
  • Curators: Max Hollein, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; Eva Mongi-Vollmer, Städel Museum Frankfurt; and Petra Joos, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
  • In 1965/66 Georg Baselitz, one of the most influential painters and sculptors of our time, developed his dramatic and paradoxical Hero paintings in a virtually explosive spurt of productivity. The forceful workgroup of the Heroes and New Types is widely regarded today as a key example of German art from the 1960s.
  • The fragile and paradoxical Heroes find their counterpoint in their form: the frontal depiction and central placement of the clearly outlined figure contrast with the wildness of the palette and the vehemence of the pictorial style.
  • The fact that the artist—who was just 27 years old at the time—decided to take on the subject of the “heroes” or “types” was quite provocative, as (male) heroism and its onetime exponents had been called into question by the war and its aftermath.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is pleased to present Georg Baselitz. Heroes, a monographic exhibition devoted to a series of paintings that depict vulnerable, defeated "heroes", created in 1965/66 by one of the most influential artists of our time, Georg Baselitz. This show, organized by the Städel Museum Frankfurt in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Moderna Museet Stockholm, and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, has assembled 60 paintings, drawings, and sketches from the series for the first time. Baselitz’s monumental, frenzied, defiant figures are an energetic statement of the artist’s self-assertion and identity that ran contrary to the prevailing artistic and ideological trends of his time. Establishing an ideal continuity between past and present, the exhibition in Bilbao (as in Rome) concludes with a selection of paintings from the Remix cycle that Georg Baselitz began working on in 2005, which includes Heroes and New Types from 2007 and 2008.

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