Georg Baselitz

Kopfkissen [Pillow] (1987)

About this artwork

This painting shows the expressive brushstrokes for which Baselitz became famous. He is an exponent of Neo-Expressionism, a movement that revived the spirit of German Expressionism. Baselitz felt strongly about the political problems in Germany and was deeply distrustful of political ideologies. In his use of grotesque and dismembered images of the body, Baselitz is setting himself firmly apart from the images of heroic workers, endorsed under the 'Socialist Realism' of East Germany. The style and lurid red in this painting suggest violence. Also, the head appears to be dislocated from the rest of the body.

  • title: Kopfkissen [Pillow]
  • accession number: GMA 3372
  • artist: Georg BaselitzGerman (born 1938)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1987
  • measurements: 200.00 x 162.20 cm (framed: 213.86 x 175.89 x 7.62 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1988
  • copyright: © Georg Baselitz.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Georg Baselitz

Georg Baselitz

Georg Kern was born near Dresden in East Germany and studied art in both East and West Germany. He took the surname Baselitz from his place of birth in 1961, the year the Berlin Wall was built. Baselitz is credited with reintroducing the figure, as well a sense of history (a problematic issue in post-war Germany), into German painting, though he did this in a deeply sceptical, ambiguous way. In 1969 he caused controversy for his paintings in which the images were painted upside down. This was a device to take the focus off the subject matter and highlight the expressive and formal qualities of the painting style.