Georg Baselitz

Anthony D’Offay Gallery, Waddington Gallery

“In my eyes you see the altar of nature, the sacrifice of flesh, the remains of meals in the lavatory pan, exhalation of bedsheets, blood on stumps and aerial roots, oriental light on the pearly teeth of the beautiful, gristle, negative forms, flecks of shadow, parades of epileptics. . . . ” At the time of his first “Pandemonium Manifesto” Georg Baselitz saw dismemberment as a function of the grotesque. To focus on remnants, protuberances, and fleshy paraphernalia, all with the appearance of independent life, was to force painting to act as “conciliatory meditation,” a means of defusing the threat these objects presented. The air of nervous exhilaration in pictures such as P.D. Foot, 1963, also pervades the “Idol” series of 1964, which treats the head as an independent, ponderable entity. “The most beautiful thing in the world is always to work a face, a head, to pieces,” Baselitz concluded

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