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Kopfkissen [Pillow]
© Georg Baselitz

Reference URL

Kopfkissen [Pillow] 1987

Not on display

This painting shows the expressive brushstrokes for which Baselitz became famous. He is an exponent of Neo-Expressionism, a movement that revived the spirit of German Expressionism. Baselitz felt strongly about the political problems in Germany and was deeply distrustful of political ideologies. In his use of grotesque and dismembered images of the body, Baselitz is setting himself firmly apart from the images of heroic workers, endorsed under the 'Socialist Realism' of East Germany. The style and lurid red in this painting suggest violence. Also, the head appears to be dislocated from the rest of the body.

Glossary Open


Any act of representation in words, images, music or other means, particularly the representation of emotions or feelings in a lively manner.


A style that made an impact in the arts in the 1920s, particularly in Germany. Expressionists deliberately abandoned realistic representation techniques in favour of exaggerations and distortions of line and colour that were intended to carry far greater emotional impact.


An art movement of the 1970s and 80s inspired by German Expressionism. Most popular in Germany and America, the style is characterized by large, figurative works, rapidly painted, often with objects, such as broken plates or straw, incorporated into their surfaces.

Socialist Realism

The official art of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s. It glorified the state and its achievements and celebrated manual work.

Expression, Expressionism, Neo-Expressionism, Socialist Realism


  • Acc. No. GMA 3372
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 200.00 x 162.20 cm (framed: 213.86 x 175.89 x 7.62 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1988