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Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Opens Georg Baselitz Sculpture Exhibition

The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris presents an exhibition of the sculptures of Georg Baselitz (b. 1938). Open now through January 29, 2012.

This retrospective interpretation of one facet of the German artist – initially a painter and engraver – will include almost his entire sculptural output, covering a period of more than thirty years. Few of these works have been shown in France. Now recognised as a part of his oeuvre in its own right, Baselitz’s sculpture gradually became more and more monumental in scale.

Georg Baselitz, Untitled, painted sculpture in wood (1982-1984)

Forty painted wood pieces dating from 1979 to 2010 will illustrate the itinerary of an artist who has made a powerful contribution to the language of contemporary sculpture. As a counterpoint, a number of works on paper will highlight the rigorous consistency of the oeuvre – whatever the medium – in its treatment of the figure and its sources, and in its defiance of the accepted rules of perception. This substantial group of drawings displays a clear affinity with the sculptures: some are simple sketches, others suggest three-dimensional forms such as bodies and heads.

Given the scale of his sculptures in wood, Baselitz’s tools were the chainsaw and the axe, an approach that allowed the expression of a radicalism different from that of his canvases. Whereas the inverting of the figure in his painting gave him “the freedom to really confront painterly problems”, Baselitz saw sculpture as “the shortest path” to dealing with fundamental issues. Erudite and a major collector, he drew his subject matter from primitive forms like tribal and popular art, enhancing them with references to Italian Mannerism and such representatives of the Western tradition as Edvard Munch and Picabia.

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