About this artwork
This is one of Baselitz's largest and earliest wood carvings. He began making sculptures in 1979 and used chainsaws and axes to make them. The rough finish of the sculpture is reminiscent of tribal art, which Baselitz collects. The raised arm derives from African carvings of figures who raise their arms to signal surrender in battle. A drawing of the same figure has him holding a flag. The sculpture also has associations with the long tradition of German wood carving, which, in the early twentieth century, was revived by expressionist artists such as Kirchner.
- title: Ohne Titel [Untitled (Figure with Raised Arm)]
- accession number: GMA 3530
- artist: Georg BaselitzGerman (born 1938)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Sculpture
- subject: Neo-expressionism
- materials: Wood, painted
- date created: 1982 - 1984
- measurements: 253.00 x 71.00 x 46.00 cm
- credit line: Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund (William Leng Bequest) 1989
- 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.