Georg Baselitz 'Bauernzug' (2010)

Georg Baselitz
Bauernzug
2010
Edition of 30
Drypoint and aquatint on Somerset paper
Plate: 65.9 x 49.8 cm | 25 15/16 x 19 5/8 in.
Paper size: 90 x 65.5 cm | 35 7/16 x 25 13/16 in.
Signed and numbered
Unframed
Published by White Cube, 2011

Bauernzug (2010) depicts an eagle in flight, upside down and partially obscured by dripping black paint, and was produced in two colours, red and yellow, to coincide with Georg Baselitz’s exhibition ‘Between Eagles and Pioneers’ at White Cube Mason’s Yard, London in 2011. Its title, meaning ‘peasants’ procession’ in German, is a term for an opening move using the pawn in a game of chess.

Although Baselitz, who paints his works on the floor but inverts them on the wall to highlight their abstract qualities, is as much interested in the image as its content, he is aware of the eagle’s symbolism throughout history. In Germany, it is both an emblem of the Third Reich and the contemporary Federal Republic. Baselitz, who recalls as a child helping a wildlife photographer capture images of eagles for a book, has repeatedly painted this bird of prey. In the 1950s, he depicted eagles fighting in air over mountains, perhaps as a representation of his own move from East to West Germany. In the 1970s, he made several famous ‘finger paintings’ of eagles seeming to crash to earth, one of which was – famously and controversially – displayed in the office of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in 2003. 

Always interested in ambiguity, Baselitz employs his signature painterly dance between abstraction and figuration to mine this charged motif, an avian Icarus of sorts, calling to mind ideas of hubris, noble struggle and individual and national catastrophe.

This edition is available in two colour variations and sold unframed. For further information please contact editions@whitecube.com

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