new-york-london

George Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke

Gagosian Gallery/Anthony d’Offay

Gusts of Teutonic air swept into London this fall and winter. The 2000 Turner Prize went to German-born London resident Wolfgang Tillmans; a strong selection of works by Germans—from Otto Dix and Max Beckmann to Hans Haacke and A.R. Penck—was included in the National Portrait Gallery’s survey of twentieth-century portraits; and three postwar heavyweights had major gallery shows—Georg Baselitz at Gagosian and Anselm Kiefer and Sigmar Polke successively at Anthony d’Offay. Here was an opportune moment to reconsider the work of all three artists, who, along with Gerhard Richter, have represented, in Britain as elsewhere, the north face of European painting over the last two decades.

Recent German art is still viewed with some apprehension in Britain, even with that indelible native testiness reserved for international success. An endorsement of the often highly specific content of German art

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