P07739 Untitled (with Dog and Axe) 1967
Etching and drypoint 13 1/8 × 9 5/8 (334 × 245) on Richard de Bas paper 26 1/2 × 20 (672 × 509), printed and published by the artist
Inscribed ‘Baselitz 67’ b.r. and ‘7/20’
Purchased from Maximilian Verlag, Sabine Knust, Munich (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Repr: Fred Jahn, Baselitz Peintre-Graveur, 1, Bern-Berlin, 1983, p.91
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.
P07739 is one of a series of prints depicting woodmen, huntsmen and animals in the landscape. Here the dog and the woodmen are camouflaged within the landscape so that the landscape becomes almost anthropomorphic. In the first ‘Pandemonium’ manifesto, Baselitz refers to ‘Anthropomorphic pot-bellied putty rocks (without Archimboldi)...Redon in the fleece of a one-eyed sheep, in the garden where the soft-leaved plants have faces’ (Whitechapel Art Gallery exhibition catalogue, pp.23–4). The camouflage effect anticipates the so-called fracture paintings of 1967–9. According to the artist the woodmen refer ‘to the so-called “Grünen”, that are woodpartisans in the Russian Civil War’. He also states that they are neither asleep nor dead. Calvocoressi (ibid., p.14) writes that, ‘The verdant, rustic world of the fracture paintings reflects Baselitz's total isolation from society’ for in 1966 he moved from Berlin to the village of Osthofen, near Worms. Many of these works represent idyllic scenes but Baselitz's reference to the Russian Civil War may denote an underlying violence and rebellion. The axe is an instrument of death as well as a tool of trade.
This entry has been approved by the artist.
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986