Georg Baselitz spent the formative years of his painting career in West Germany, where an early impetus behind his work was the question of the country’s still-troubled national identity and the discontinuity of the self and society. Between 1965 and 1966, Baselitz created the masterworks in his monumental Heroes and New Types series. Georg Baselitz: The Heroes reproduces the series in full-color with close readings of the paintings with regard to their artistic style and historical context.
The paintings in Georg Baselitz: The Heroes reflect a deep ambivalence toward German culture during the time in which the young artist created the series. In these now-classic scenes, military characters are portrayed as fundamentally contradictory figures, wounded and with their fatigues in tatters, their failures engraved on tormented faces. These images contrast sharply with the economic and political success of postwar West Germany. At the same time, the series served as a forceful formulation of the artist’s position in relation to society. Reproducing the boldly outspoken series, Georg Baselitz: The Heroes collects the artist’s earliest statements on the theme of growing up against the fractured landscape of postwar Germany, a theme that has continued to be developed and refined throughout the artist’s remarkable body of work. Hardcover, 160 pages