Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2008
In Der Absprung, caricature sits at the heart of the work. The thick imposing impasto of his earlier work is given up in favour of a lighter, more comical rendering as Baselitz’s thin oil resembles watercolour. With his arms raised, and infantile skin tone, Hitler now resembles a petulant child. The weight of history is lifted, Hitler becomes more a memory, an apparition of what he once was. Though he has reaffirmed Hitler’s physical identity, Baselitz has robbed him of his symbolic power. Hitler has become little more than Baselitz’s artistic puppet. By drawing from his own work, Baselitz recasts his referential system both backwards and internally, moving further away from the history he questions and further into concept of his own artistic process. He questions the basis of picture making, the nature of motif and the semiotic value of symbols by re-appropriating what was already his. In this profoundly post-modern framework, the artist is now influenced only by himself.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Remix series was created by Baselitz as a form of artistic grievance. They are an endnote to a chapter in his life, a form of closure. Like with much of Baselitz’s work, which is deeply rooted in his personal identity and experience, these works respond to the impending whirlwind of change Baselitz and his wife, Elke, experienced whilst moving from their home of thirty years in Derneburg to Southern Germany. Produced over the course of this move, the series self-reflectively closes the circle on his earlier body of work in order to realise the chance to permanently begin anew.
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