P07737 Rebel 1965
Etching with drypoint and aquatint 12 5/8 × 9 1/4 (320 × 235) on paper 17 3/8 × 12 5/8 (440 × 320), printed and published by the artist
Inscribed ‘Baselitz 65’ b.r. and ‘31/60’
Purchased from Maximilian Verlag, Sabine Knust, Munich (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Repr: Fred Jahn, Baselitz Peintre-Graveur, 1, Bern-Berlin, 1983, p.44; Siegfried Gohr, Georg Baselitz-Druckgraphik 1963–83, Munich, 1984, p.77
Unless otherwise stated all statements attributed to the artist in this and the following entries have been made in letters from Herr Detlev Gretenkort of 27 June and 10 August 1984 reporting answers by the artist to questions posed by the compiler. Herr Gretenkort is the artist's secretary.
P07737 and P07738 are etchings on the theme of the ‘neuer Typ’, a subject Baselitz explored in a variety of media between 1965 and 1966. P07737 is closely related to a drawing entitled ‘Hero’ (repr. Georg Baselitz Zeichnungen 1958–83, exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum, Basel, March–May 1984, pl.64) and to a painting of the same name as P07737 also in the collection (T03442, see entry in this catalogue). The ‘neuer Typ’ (new man) represents a regenerated, restructured youth generally clad in battledress, looking with an air of ecstasy towards the future. The suggestion of the crucifixion and of a scarred landscape is typical of these works and indicate a legacy of Baselitz's earlier ‘Pandemonium’ pictures, which have been linked, in terms of source imagery, to the art of the insane and, in other respects, to the work of European artists of the fifties such as Fautrier and Wols. The two ‘Pandemonium’ manifestos which Baselitz issued in 1961 and 1962 express the frustration of working in Germany at a time of cultural impoverishment. The tone of the manifestos is often violent, sexual, and shocking and represents rebelliousness and anger. The ‘Rebel’ works emerged some three years later and represent a less aggressive approach to revolution. Richard Calvocoressi points out that
The emergence of a mythic figuration in Baselitz's paintings was not a political act, although it is possible to recognise in the striding, monumental figure of the neuer Typ elements of both Fascist and Socialist Realist heroic iconography. However, the young pioneer in baggy battledress surrounded by attributes ... is, as Gunter Gercken has pointed out, ‘a peaceful fighter, a green hero, a partisan against war, armed not with a machine gun but with a paintbrush and palette’ (Georg Baselitz Paintings 1960–83, exhibition catalogue, Whitechapel Art Gallery, September–October 1983, p.13).
Baselitz regards the rebel as an antihero who holds in his left hand a bag with a paintbrush and in his right hand ‘an instrument of torture, made of a stone to squeeze the fingers’. The objects such as the fallen flag indicate ‘a negative pathetic’ and are signs of social disintegration. In P07738, according to Baselitz, the figure is portrayed supporting a house in his right hand in order to ‘protect the house against destruction’. The wing-like configuration behind the figure represents a tree stump. Although the artist states that there is no specific source for the rebel works they may be closely related to prints by northern Mannerist artists which he admires, in particular the work of Goltzius and Flotner. One work by Flotner (repr. Georg Baselitz: Ein neuer Typ. Bilder 1965/66, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Neuendorf, Hamburg, December 1973–January 1974, n.p.) seems especially close.
This entry has been approved by the artist.
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986