Georg Baselitz/anselm Kiefer/sigmar Polke
Shone, Richard, Artforum International
GAGOSIAN GALLERY/ANTHONY D'OFFAY GALLERY, LONDON
Gusts of Teutonic air swept into London this fall and winter. The 2000 Turner Prize went to German-born London resident Wolfgang Tillmans; a strong selection of works by Germans--from Otto Dix and Max Beckmann to Hans Haacke and A.R. Penck--was included in the National Portrait Gallery's survey of twentieth-century portraits; and three postwar heavyweights had major gallery shows--Georg Baselitz at Gagosian and Anselm Kiefer and Sigmar Polke successively at Anthony d'Offay. Here was an opportune moment to reconsider the work of all three artists, who, along with Gerhard Richter, have represented, in Britain as elsewhere, the north face of European painting over the last two decades.
Recent German art is still viewed with some apprehension in Britain, even with that indelible native testiness reserved for international success. An endorsement of the often highly specific content of German art has not accompanied the undeniable, liberating influence of its technical procedures. In Britain, it was French and then American content that manured, even smothered, its artists during the twentieth century. Two world wars strangled the infiltration of German visual modernism, just beginning to be felt in the years before 1914 and again in the '30s. The summer of 1938 saw the unprecedented exhibition in London of modern art from Germany, a huge show from Lovis Corinth to Beckmann, organized in support of the "degenerate art" by artists then scuttling from their homeland across the safer …
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Publication information: Article title: Georg Baselitz/anselm Kiefer/sigmar Polke. Contributors: Shone, Richard - Author. Magazine title: Artforum International. Volume: 39. Issue: 6 Publication date: February 2001. Page number: 143. © 1999 Artforum International Magazine, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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