New York

Georg Baselitz

Gagosian | 522 West 21st Street

Half a dozen wooden figures, all painted and larger than life—and all rather ordinary looking. The Heideggerean issue seems to be how these sculptures transcend their Alltäglichkeit to acquire Eigenlichkeit, moving from the everyday state of mind to the awareness of death that opens the way to authenticity.

Georg Baselitz’s figures embody the dialectical tension between these two conditions: It is evident in the difference between the male figure who holds a skull behind his back—the watch on his right wrist suggesting that time is running out—and the female figure who holds a lunch box behind her back. At Gagosian Gallery they stood across from each other in a community of figures, hinting at their conflicted nature—the hidden truth behind their public appearance. The legs of one female figure face backward while her body faces forward, suggesting the selfcontradiction—indeed,

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