Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Born Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony, the artist known as Georg Baselitz left East Germany in 1956 for West Berlin. The title of the painting references the artist’s birthplace and the notions of homeland so central to the tradition of German landscape painting. The recent Nazi past and the bifurcation of national identity following World War II, however, had rendered those ideas deeply problematic. At a time when many artists of his generation were abandoning painting, Baselitz remained dedicated to the medium. Openly rejecting the abstract styles predominant in West Germany at the time, Baselitz nonetheless destroyed both the idea and the literal depiction of landscape and the human figure — suggested in Saxon Motif by a stack of fleshy, disembodied forms — through his painterly process. Associating creative principles of disharmony, asymmetry, and fragmentation with his Nordic, Germanic heritage, Baselitz points here to what he felt was an “aesthetic of ugliness” particular to German art.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
2008.207
People
Georg Baselitz, German (Deutschbaselitz, Germany 1938 -)
Title
Saxon Motif
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Sächsisches Motiv
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1964
Culture
German
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/329958
Location
Level 1, Room 1100, Modern and Contemporary Art, The Sixties Experiment/Multiple Strategies
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
195 x 130 cm (76 3/4 x 51 3/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Friends Anniversary Collection, Gift of Dorette Hildebrand-Staab
Copyright
© Georg Baselitz
Accession Year
2008
Object Number
2008.207
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Exhibition History

32Q: 1100 60’s Experiment, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu