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Major Baselitz exhibition opens in Wairarapa

Major Baselitz exhibition opens in Wairarapa

From ‘socio-political immaturity’ to world fame!

An artist once expelled from an East German art school for ‘socio-political immaturity’ is the focus of a major new exhibition at Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art and History.

Georg Baselitz: Printed Graphics 1965-1992 is the first opportunity that New Zealanders have had to see a substantial collection of work by one of Germany’s most famous living artists, and is traveling to only two locations in New Zealand: Aratoi and Christchurch’s COCA Gallery (where it was a highlight of the recent Arts Festival).

The exhibition has been brought to New Zealand by the Goethe Institute and the Institute of Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), and features over eighty works on paper, including woodcuts, engravings, linocuts and drypoint etchings.

Baselitz was born Hans-Georg Kern in 1938. He began studying art in East Berlin in 1956 but was expelled the following year for ‘socio-political immaturity’. He continued his studies in West Germany, where he became influenced by the work of the Abstract Expressionists. He was also fascinated with works produced by ‘outsiders’ such as the mentally ill.

Isolation and fragmentation have always been key themes in Baselitz’s works, which are instantly recognizable for usually having their subjects placed upside-down. The artist adopted this technique in the late 1960s as a way of overcoming the representational nature of his work whilst not becoming abstract.

Aratoi staff are anticipating that art lovers from throughout the country will make a special trip to the Wairarapa to see the exhibition. Aratoi Director Tracy Puklowski says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring a major international exhibition to the Wairarapa, and we anticipate that many visitors from other parts of New Zealand will take the opportunity to visit our spectacular museum, and perhaps enjoy other aspects of the Wairarapa at the same time”.

Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, is an award-winning museum that opened in February 2001. It is open daily between 10am and 4.30pm and is situated on the corner of Bruce and Dixon Streets, Masterton.

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