Georg Baselitz

Galleria Christian Stein | Milan

The struggle between good and evil—vice against virtue, as in the 12th-century bronze doors of Novgorod’s St. Sofia Cathedral or a 13th-century window of Naumburg Cathedral—gives a Byzantine blessing to Georg Baselitz’s current work. This exhibition consisted of three “Kampfmotive” (Fight motifs, 1986)—each one a group of 12 charcoal-and-tempera drawings arranged in three horizontal rows—and 16 paintings executed in 1985 and 1986. As in all of Baselitz’s work since 1968, some of the images are inverted, but his interest in the head as an object of representation is, as it were, expanded. Other agents of pathos, in addition to the tormented heads, are, for example, the large and abundant tears that fall from the eyes like flames, while the figures slide ever deeper into the masses of color, as in Dolores, 1986.

Baselitz treats painting like expressionist sculpture; at the same time, however,

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