Georg BaselitzExhibition | Georg Baselitz By Avram Finkelstein
Mind and Body.
If there actually is a war between expressionism and postmodernism, Georg Baselitz has certainly fought on both sides of it, showing wavering allegiances to the visceral and the political. Over the years, in fact, he's been claimed by both camps. But now in New York, when postmodernism appears to be on its way to the morgue and abstractionism is experiencing a mini-rebirth, the artist is certainly owed reconsideration from an expressionist perspective. Unfortunately, his paintings at Gagosian don't do very much to help make the case for it. As a gesture of revisitation, the canvases are tenuous and underarticulated, leaning away from any resolution decades of practice might lend them. As re-phrasings they are curiously far from revelatory, unless viewed as postmodern specimens. And the work continues to insist on gender as a topic without having anything further to say about it, beyond extolling the certainty of our primitivisms. After a generation of academia on the subject, this reads as fairly stubborn. The sculpture, however, seems less of an intellectual tar pit, and maintains a totemic relevance. But his sculpture has always fallen clearly to Art Brut, and so borrows powers even less academic than expressionism.
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