Style: Modern, Abstract
Background: Baselitz was born 23 January 1938, as Hans-Georg Kern in Deutschbaselitz (now a part of Kamenz, Saxony), in what was later to be East Germany.
Education: At the ages of 14 and 15, he painted portraits, religious subjects, still lifes and landscapes, some in a futuristic style. In 1955, he applied to study at the Kunstakademie in Dresden but was rejected. In 1956, he passed the entrance exam to study forestry at the Forstschule in Taranth and successfully applied to study at the Hochschule für bildende und angewandte Kunst in East Berlin.
He studied painting under professors Walter Womacka and Herbert Behrens-Hangler, and befriended Peter Graf and Ralf Winkler. After two semesters, he was expelled for “sociopolitical immaturity.” The next year he successfully applied for a place at West Berlin’s Hochschule der Kunste and continued his studies in Professor Hann Trier’s class, a creative environment largely dominated by the gestural abstraction of Tachism and Art Informel, affecting a certain orientation towards Paris among both staff and students
Achievements: In 1958, after moving from East Berlin to West Berlin, Baselitz met his future wife, Elke Kretzschmar. He also produced his first original works in a distinct style of his own, among them the imaginary portraits “Uncle Bernhard”/ “Onkel Bernhard.” In the same year, he started work on the “Rayski-Head”/ “Rayski-Kopf” series.
He exhibited several times in the next few years around Germany. He also participated in the 1972 documenta 5 in Kassel. This same year he began using a fingerpainting technique. He then began painting landscapes until 1975, chiefly based on motifs from around Deutschbaselitz.
n 1976, Baselitz set up an additional studio in Florence, which he used until 1981. In 1977, he began working on large-format linocuts. From 1978 until 1980, he worked on diptychs using the tempera painting technique (combinations of motifs), multipart pictures (series of motifs), and large-format individual works