Baselitz – Academy, a major retrospective of works by the renowned German artist Georg Baselitz, will be the first exhibition by a living artist to be presented at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice to open on 8 May 2019. The exhibition is a Collateral Event of the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.
The exhibition, curated by Professor Kosme de Barañano, will trace the periods and critical junctures in the artist’s extraordinary 60-year career through paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. A special feature of the exhibition will be a cycle of rarely seen works exploring Baselitz’s relationship with Italy and the academic tradition.
As a young artist, Baselitz left Germany for Italy after winning a six-month residency at the Villa Romana in Florence. During this pivotal time, he turned his gaze intensely to the art of the Italian Renaissance, including that of Giovanni di Paolo, Rosso Fiorentino, and Jacopo da Pontormo.
Acutely aware of the arc of art history, Baselitz has returned over and again to the artists of the past. This exhibition highlights this interest while turning attention to his remarkable influence on contemporary painting, including his iconic inversions, which deconstruct the traditions of portraiture.
Seven rooms are dedicated to Baselitz’s paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures. The show is divided into sections focusing on themes such as drawings inspired by Pontormo, the “upside-down” portraits, and the impressive large nudes. In a radical and revelatory presentation, the room of nudes exhibits exceptional works that have never before been seen together.
Georg Baselitz said: “I am delighted to have been invited to present my work at the Accademia in Venice. I have known the city and museum well for many years and am delighted to work with Kosme de Barañano to present a show that we hope will offer something different.”
Kosme de Barañano, curator of the exhibition, said: “Georg Baselitz is one of the most significant artists of the second half of the twentieth century. He confronts the great theme of painting not by reducing it to its essence but rather by attacking the convention itself. We are thrilled to work together again. Baselitz has often visited and has kept a studio in Italy for quite some time, and the exhibition will reflect how Italy has impacted his work over the years.”
Paola Marini, former Director of the Gallerie, said: “After the success of the Philip Guston exhibition in 2017, we are pleased to continue the journey by presenting the work of a contemporary master, Georg Baselitz, whose work has been profoundly influenced by the encounter with the history of Italian art present at the Gallerie dell’Accademia.”
Giovanni Panebianco, Secretary General of MiBAC and Director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, said: “This exhibition demonstrates the Gallerie dell’Accademia’s commitment to placing itself at the centre, not only of the illustrious tradition of Venetian painting, but also opening up to the most significant events of the international contemporary art world. In this spirit, we have chosen to dedicate an exhibition to Georg Baselitz, one of the most innovative living artists of the last 50 years.”
The exhibition, supported by Gagosian, will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Baselitz was born in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Germany, and lives between Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. He has exhibited extensively internationally, including highly acclaimed exhibitions at the Fondation Beyeler and the Kunstmuseum in Basel.
About Georg Baselitz
Baselitz was born in 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Germany, and lives between Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.
He has exhibited extensively internationally, including highly acclaimed exhibitions at the Fondation Beyeler and the Kunstmuseum in Basel. Collections include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Fondation Beyeler, Basel; and Tate, London. Recent institutional exhibitions include Pinturas Recentes, Pinacoteca, São Paulo (2010–11); Baselitz sculpteur, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2011–12); Back then, in between, and today, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014–15); 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2015); How it began..., State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg (2015); The Heroes, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2016, traveled to Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; and Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, through 2017); Preview with Review, Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest (2017); Baselitz Maniera: Nonconformism as a Source of Imagination, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, Germany (2018); Works on Paper, Kunstmuseum Basel (2018); and Georg Baselitz / Six Decades, Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2018, traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC); Corpus Baselitz, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France (2018).
About Kosme de Barañano
Internationally respected art historian and curator, Kosme de Barañano is a full tenured Professor of Art History at Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Spain. Previously he was a professor at University of the Basque Country, Spain; IUAV University of Venice; and Humboldt University, Berlin. A former Executive Director of Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), Spain, and former Deputy Director of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, de Barañano holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain.