Driving to Thaddaeus Ropac gallery in Pantin is always an effort but there is always a great reward! This time, East German artist Georg Baselitz is showing his “Homage to Elke”, his wife of nearly sixty years. The thirty paintings might seem repetitive in different colors but as soon as you come near them in the gigantic space, you realize the beauty of the details and of the paint texture. Do take the time to go, it is a unique experience like entering a cathedral of contemporary painting.
Born in 1938 near Dresden, Baselitz now works in Basel, the Amersee in Bavaria and Imperia in north west Italy. Before the retrospective of his work at Centre Pompidou in the Fall 2020, we have the privilege to see, in complete intimacy, these riveting upside down portraits. They are huge, 3m by 2m or larger, represent bodies floating in time and space. Some come in pairs while others stand alone. Black is omnipresent but gold and colorful pink paintings appear around the corner.
After celebrating his 80 th birthday last year with magnificent solo shows in the Musée Interlinden in Colmar, the Beyeler foundation in Basel, the Hirshorn in Washington D.C. and Gallerie dell’ Accademia in Venice, the artist furthers his research of painting upside down. There are twenty charcoal preparatory drawings which show the work he puts into each canvas, and it is fascinating to discover the thickness of his paint applied with a spatula or a brush.
Parking is easy in the courtyard and you can have a light lunch in the premises. Until January 25, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin
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