Georg Baselitz (Hans-Georg Kern) German, born 1938
About this artwork
During the early 1960s, Georg Baselitz began producing representational images—characterized by thickly painted surfaces and often emotional and/or tragic themes—that drew inspiration from Germany’s artistic and cultural heritage. Between 1967 and 1969, Baselitz executed a series of Fracture Paintings, in which he segmented his subjects—animals, shepherds, and woodsmen—into horizontal bands or irregular fragments. Strung up sideways against a massive tree trunk, this woodsman heralded the artist’s trademark inverted figures, which first appeared soon after this painting’s completion. Conjuring a world gone mad, Woodman evokes the psychic and physical disorientation Germans experienced after their war-torn nation was partitioned in 1946. Indeed, Baselitz created this work after he left a divided Berlin to reside in a small German village.
Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.
Purchased with funds provided by Mrs. Frederic G. Pick; Walter Aitken Fund
Extended information about this artwork
Rafael Jablonka, Georg Baselitz: Paintings, 1966–1969, exh. cat. (Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 1982), pp. 25 (color ill.); 26 (as Woodmen/Waldarbeiter, 1968).
Trevor Fairbrother, Georg Baselitz, exh. cat. (Mary Boone Gallery, 1987) n.pag. (color ill. as Waldarbeiter, 1968).
Art Institute of Chicago, Annual Report 1986–1987 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1987), p. 29, fig. 17 (ill.).
“Georg Baselitz: Sculpture and Early Woodcuts,” exh. cat. (London: Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 1987), n.pag. (ill.), as “Woodmen/Waldarbeiter.”
Eleanor Heartney, “Georg Baselitz at Mary Boone,” Art in America, vol. 76, no. 7 (July 1988), p. 134.
Christos M. Joachimides et al., “Georg Baselitz: dipinti 1965–1987,” exh. cat. (Electa, 1988), p. 52 (photo).
Susan Kandel and Elizabeth Hayt-Atkins, “Georg Baselitz,” Art News, vol. 87, no. 3 (March 1988), p. 189.
Donald Kuspit, “Georg Baselitz: Mary Boone Gallery,” Artforum, vol. 26, no. 7 (March 1988), p. 134, (as Waldarbeiter (Forestworker), 1968).
James N. Wood and Katharine C. Lee, Master Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/New York Graphic Society, 1988), p. 160 (color ill.).
James N. Wood, Treasures of 19th- and 20th-Century Painting: The Art Institute of Chicago (Abbeville Press, 1993), p. 256 (color ill.).
James N. Wood and Teri J. Edelstein, The Art Institute of Chicago: Twentieth-Century Painting and Sculpture (Hudson Hills Press, 1996), p. 136 (color ill.).
Suzanne Pagé, Juliette Laffon, and Odile Burluraux, Georg Baselitz, exh. cat. (Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, 1996) p. 83, cat. 8 (color ill. as Ohne Title (Waldarbeiter), 1969).
Richard Shiff, “Georg Baselitz Grounded,” in “Negotiating History: German Art and the Past,” “Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies” 28, 1 (2002), pp. 62, 64–65, fig. 6 (color ill.).
Norman Rosenthal, Richard Shiff, Carla Schulz–Hoffman, and Shulamith Behr, Baselitz, exh. cat. (Royal Academy of Arts, 2007), pp. 131, cat. 76 (color ill. as Woodsman, 1969); 252 (as Woodsman (Waldarbeiter), 1969).
Bernard Blistène, ed., Baselitz: La retrospective, exh. cat. (Paris: Centre Pompidou, 2021), 104 (color ill.), 301.
London, Anthony d’Offay Gallery, Georg Baselitz: Paintings, 1966–69, Nov. 10–Dec. 3, 1982, pl. 14 (as Woodmen (Waldarbeiter), 1968)
New York, Mary Boone Gallery, Georg Baselitz, Nov. 21–Dec. 23, 1987, no cat. no. (as Waldarbeiter, 1968).
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Georg Baselitz, Oct. 22, 1996–Jan. 5, 1997, cat. 8 (as Ohne Titel (Waldarbeiter).
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Georg Baselitz: A Retrospective, 22 Sept.–9 Dec 2007. cat. 76 (as Woodsman (Waldarbeiter), 1969) .
Riehen/Basel, Fondation Beyeler, Georg Baselitz, Jan. 21–Apr. 29, 2018, no cat. no.; Washington D.C., Hirshhorn Musuem and Sculpture Garden, as Baselitz: Six Decades, June 21–Sept. 16, 2018 (Washington D.C. only).
Paris, Centre Pompidou, Baselitz: La rétrospective, Oct. 20, 2021–Mar. 7, 2022, no cat. no.
Franz Dahlem, Darmstadt, Germany, 1970–1981; sold to Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London, 1981; sold to the Art Institute, 1987.
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