#GeorgBaselitz ‘A focus on the 1980s’ remains open in our London gallery till 21 November.
The exhibition presents seminal works from each of the series Baselitz developed during this breakthrough decade – his Strandbilder [Beach Pictures], Trinker [Drinkers] and Orangenesser [Orange Eaters].
‘Previously I worked on paintings independently, taking a long time with each. Later, I worked more quickly, now I work very quickly. At the time when I did the Orange Eaters, I did the series, if you want to call it that, based on the theme of an orange more or less in the middle of the painting. At least somewhere where you can fix it centrally: the orange, the yellow spot. At the time, the reason behind these kinds of paintings of mine was the so called ‘wild youth’ (die Jungen Wilden). The wild youth were a great surprise in Europe, in Germany. Suddenly, enormous pictures were in, which were incredibly funny, full of humour and… were they critical? I don’t know. In any case, vehement in their appearance. And at the time, I was just over forty, but the young artists were just about twenty, a generation below me, and I had the feeling they overlooked me. I just had to do something. I had to just plant my flag, and that’s when I started to paint these light-hearted paintings.
Pictured: Orangenesser (VIII) [Orange Eater (VIII)], 1980-1981. Oil and tempera on canvas. 200 x 162 cm (78,74 x 63,78 in). Photo: Ben Westoby.