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Black Mother and Black Child
Original title: Schwarze Mutter mit schwarzem Kind
1985
Oil on canvas 
Dimensions: 330 x 250 cm
Reference: ACF0696
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In the evolution of Baselitz’ art there have been two major breaks: the inversion of the image (1969) and the production of the first sculpture (1979). By turning the image upside down, he conserves the theme of his figures, but empties it of meaning. “The fact of the inverted object is proof that there is no such thing as a painting that depends on figuration. Reality is the picture [...] and then there is only pure painting.” His figures thus lost their original identity and acquired a new one, which was defined on the basis of the formal aspect, the pure material nature of the paint. In 1985, he did a series of paintings based on the theme ‘Mutter und Kind’ (Mother and Child). They are intense, physically dense paintings whose images are structured from heavy masses of colour. In the early eighties, his painting had undergone a fundamental change, influenced by the making of his sculpted wooden heads: the details of the figures had been reduced, whereas the figures themselves took on sculptural proportions. He constructed concise, static figures with a certain archaic quality in terms of the drawing that recalls the features of so-called “primitive art”, a kind to which he has always felt strongly attracted because of the expressive intensity of the forms. In this work from the ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art, the allusion to the black race comes from a reference to African art, which he has been collecting since 1976. It is a highly dramatic work because of the forceful shapes of the impressive figures, their volume, the weight of the colour and the striking composition. It is a painting with an opulent surface, physiologically intense and absolutely seductive.

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