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Georg Baselitz, Bedroom, 1975. Oil and charcoal on canvas. 98.4 x 78.7 in.. Privately Owned.© Georg Baselitz 2018. Photo: Jochen Littkemann

Georg Baselitz, Mann im Mond ? Franz Pforr (Man in the Moon ? Franz Pforr), 1965. Oil on canvas, 63.7 x 3.29 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Gift (partial and promised) of Charles and Helen Schwab 1995.96.1. © Georg Baselitz 2018. Photo: Jochen Littkemann

Installation view of Baselitz: Six Decades at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2018. © Georg Baselitz 2018. Exhibition organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in cooperation with Fondation Beyeler. Photo: Cathy Carver

Georg Baselitz major retrospective exhibition at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Washington DC, Washington

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden present “Baselitz: Six Decades,” the first major U.S. retrospective in more than 20 years of one of Germany’s greatest living artists. Organized in partnership with the Fondation Beyeler to mark the artist’s 80th birthday, the exhibition opened at the Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, at the beginning of 2018, before traveling to the Hirshhorn where it will be on view until September 16, 2018. 

The Hirshhorn hosted Baselitz’s first-ever career retrospective in 1996, and this new exhibition builds on that milestone with an expanded oeuvre and works never before seen in the U.S., cementing Baselitz’s reputation as one of the most original and inventive figurative artists of his generation.

“Baselitz: Six Decades” comprise over 100 works highlighting every phase of Baselitz’s six-decade career, including his iconic paintings, works on paper and wood and bronze sculptures. The exhibition marks the first chance for U.S. audiences to understand the full scope of Baselitz’s powerful explorations of the human figure and, for the first time in any setting, the influence of American Abstract Expressionists on his formative early work, as well as his continued impact on contemporary American painting and sculpture. Curated by Hirshhorn Chief Curator Stéphane Aquin and the Beyeler Curator-at-Large Martin Schwander, the exhibition pulls from renowned private and public collections across Europe and North America.

The exhibition will include one of Baselitz’s most notable works of this time, “The Naked Man” from 1962, in which the artist used a shocking image of a male figure to express the pervasive discontent with Germany’s socialist politics, an image so controversial it was confiscated by authorities. Additional highlights will be the celebrated paintings from his iconic “Helden” (Heroes) and “Fracture” series (1965–1966), which underscore the strength of the German people following World War II. In addition, the exhibition will present Baselitz’s groundbreaking upside-down paintings—an innovative practice that first brought Baselitz to international fame in the 1970s. “Baselitz: Six Decades” also pays close attention to his output over the past 20 years, which marked a notable shift in subject matter, color palette and technique.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an expansive, richly illustrated full-color catalog, with essays by Aquin and Schwander, as well as Eva Mongi-Vollmer, Rudi Fuchs, Norman Rosenthal, Carla Schulz-Hoffman and Steve Henry Madoff, featuring new scholarship on the impact of each stage of Baselitz’s career.



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