Georg Baselitz

Drummer

1982

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Artist
Georg Baselitz born 1938
Original title
Trommler
Medium
Linocut on paper
Dimensions
Support: 2010 x 1508 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1984
Reference
P07998

Not on display

Display caption

Baselitz considers printmaking, painting and sculpture as separate disciplines. At his home in Derneberg the artist has independent studios for each practice. Nevertheless, the artist's work in one medium will influence his production in the others. 'Sculpture is a very agressive act', he stated in 1984. 'The same is true for woodcut and linocut.' Baselitz has identified the drummer in this large print as a symbolic figure 'signifying aggressiveness'. The repetitive motion of drumming and the crashing sound it makes are conveyed by the crude lines that depict drummer, drum and noise.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

P07998 Drummer 1982

Linocut 79 1/8×59 3/8 (2010 × 1508), printed and published by the artist in an edition of 10
Inscribed ‘Baselitz’ b.r. and ‘12.XII 82’ and ‘Nr.9’
Purchased from Maximilian Verlag, Sabine Knust, Munich (Grant-in-Aid) 1984

P07998 is a large linocut. By employing the large format since 1977 Baselitz has broken with the convention of the cabinet print. In the interview cited in the entry above Baselitz stated that...

the execution of the large format print requires the gestural, the corporal-gestural, in order to become master of such surfaces. It is not a matter of concepts or constructions which remain in the field of vision close to the face, as is the case with prints and drawings. The pictures have another origin, another basis. One works on surfaces not on projections. It is not indispensable that prints have a smaller space, that they are meanly arranged. Indeed I have tried to overcome that in my linocuts because their surfaces are very expansive.


Baselitz considers that the large scale allows the line to be liberated from its descriptive role and that the woodcut and the linocut eliminate the figure-ground relationship. These issues have been concerns in his paintings. Furthermore, relief printing is more flexible, especially on a large scale, than intaglio. He also saw in the large format an opportunity ‘to schematize the pattern I use to make a picture. I wanted to show, in a very simple way, mostly in black and white, the model I use to make a painting. It is a demonstration of my method’ (Henry Geldzahler, ‘Georg Baselitz’, Interview, xiv, April 1984, pp.83–4).

P07998 is printed in brown. The drummer, according to Baselitz, is not a traditional but a symbolic figure ‘signifying aggressiveness’.

This entry has been approved by the artist.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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