TABLE OF CONTENTS

IN THE ABSENCE OF HEROES: THE EARLY WORK OF GEORG BASELITZ

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN an ongoing tradition of painters in Germany. It took Albrecht Dürer a great deal of energy and effort to overcome the narrow mentality of the medieval guilds; he was the first artist to establish an identity for the artist in the consciousness of the public, yet that identity was unable to sustain itself as a cultural tradition. In Adam Elsheimer Germany produced another painter of European significance, but the numerous talented artists who emerged in the early 19th century fought and lost the battle against Goethe’s unsensual idealist concept of art. German Romantic landscape painting was not ambitious enough in its goals to produce work comparable to that of Goya or Delacroix. The post-1900 generation that participated in the Modern departure was impressed with the artistic achievements of 19th century France, but also sought, in manifestoes and theoretical writings,

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