Portrait of H.M. Werner

Georg Baselitz German

Not on view

Painted from a snapshot turned upside down, this portrait of the gallerist Michael Werner, part of a group of portraits of the artist’s friends and intimates, has a deliberately estranging affect. Made in 1969, these paintings enabled Baselitz to set his work outside the prevailing dichotomy between abstraction, associated with capitalist West Germany, and the socialist realism of East Germany. They are among the first paintings in which Baselitz deployed the strategy of inversion that would be of enduring interest to him. With this liberating compositional and conceptual conceit, he foregrounded the autonomy of the painterly process.

Portrait of H.M. Werner, Georg Baselitz (German, born Deutschbaselitz, Saxony, 1938), Synthetic resin emulsion paints (Dispersionsfarbe) on canvas

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Photo: Jochen Littkemann