Baselitz, Georg (gāôrkhˈ bäˈzəlĭtsˌ) [key], 1938–, German artist, b. Deutschbaselitz, Germany, as Hans-Georg Dern. A leading figure in the neoexpressionist movement (see neoexpressionism), he studied painting (1956–57) in East Berlin and moved to West Berlin in 1957. Since his first one-man exhibition (1961), he has become one of Germany's most prolific and best-known artists. His images are painted with a slashing intensity reminiscent of both German expressionism and abstract expressionism. Crudely drawn, aggressive, and frequently disturbing, his works incorporate semi-abstract human figures, animals, and landscape elements. These images are often painted upside down to empty them of literal meaning and usually project a sense of hostility or isolation. Baselitz is also a sculptor and printmaker. His work is included in many major European and American museum collections.
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