Two Meissen Woodsmen (Zwei Meißener Waldarbeiter), 1967
Crayon and synthetic resin on canvas, 251.2 x 200.7 cm. Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Photo © Bayer&Mitko/Artothek. © Georg BaselitzBetween 1966 and 1969 Baselitz resided with his family in Osthofen, a market village in the Rhineland Palatinate, where he also undertook his first woodcuts. Here he produced the so-called ‘Fracture’ paintings.
In these works, which are largely figurative, Baselitz introduces an element of abstraction by breaking up the figures or slicing them to reveal the background colour. As in his later 'upside down' paintings, this is a strategy to free the painting from its subject matter.
Seen at its most surgical and dynamic in Two Meissen Woodsmen, the ground colour splices the dog in mid-air and the tail-end hindquarter is mismatched with a tree-trunk.
This text is abridged from the exhibition catalogue Georg Baselitz, available from the RA Shop.
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