Volkstanz - Marode [Folkdance Melancholia] (1989)
About this artwork
This is one of a series of paintings that Baselitz painted in the first half of 1989, with the generic title of ‘Streubilder’ (or ‘Scatter Paintings’) or ‘Ciao America’. ‘Scatter Paintings’ describes the lack of a compositional focus in works like ‘Volkstanz - Marode’. Its ‘pattern’ of tiles and heads is reminiscent of the all-over quality of American Abstract Expressionism, but the primitivist style and reference to folkdance are unapologetically European. Baselitz was at the forefront of European Neo-Expressionist painting from the 1960s onwards, which enjoyed massive popularity in the 1980s, and caused some to see European art eclipsing American art at the time. Ciao America!
- title: Volkstanz - Marode [Folkdance Melancholia]
- accession number: AR00031
- artist: Georg BaselitzGerman (born 1938)
- gallery: On Loan
- object type: Painting
- date created: 1989
- measurements: 250.40 x 251.00 X 5.80cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © Georg Baselitz
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
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.