This lot may be viewed by appointment only. To arrange a viewing please contact the department on +44 207 389 2221.
Bildneunundzwanzig (Picture 29) is a vast four and a half metre long canvas belonging to a radically new group of paintings that Baselitz made in the summer of 1994. Adopting the horizontal format that the artist has adopted periodically throughout his career, this large canvas is one of a new breed of paintings that Baselitz began making on unstretched canvas laid out on the floor in the early 1990s and which in many cases revisit motifs and ideas from his own earlier work.
This new approach, echoing most famously Jackson Pollock's drip technique of painting on the floor, was part of a new working practice adopted by Baselitz that was aimed at reinvigorating motifs from his earlier work as well as encouraging him to paint in a different manner. 'It's precisely this painting technique that separates these from the previous paintings,' he wrote in a prepared text about his new works in November 1993, 'One reason, for instance, is that I don't have a wide or full view of what I've done while painting in order to get an overview I would have had to climb up a ladder. But I didn't want to. So I can only see a little bit that I'm doing on the large surface - I stand, walk, and kneel on the canvas while I squeeze out my colours.' (G. Baselitz 'Painting Out of my Head, Upside Down, Out of a Hat' November 1993 quoted in G. Baselitz, exh. cat., Bologna, 1997. p. 45)
In this work the partial figure of a nude woman emerges against a myriad layering of graphic patterning and painterly texture. A monumental and totemic image, her heavy volumetric form seems to float over the canvas as if in a dream. This dream-like quality is one prevalent in many of Baselitz's 1990s canvases and in particular his works known as the 're-mix' series in which he consciously reinvoked images from his earlier paintings. 'What I see instantly arouses a memory of something I once saw, and it has turned into pictures, and meanwhile I see the pictures more and more sharply as models for pictures' he explained. 'A child has no biography, has gathered nothing, but his imagination already spread inside him before he was born, and when he draws he tries to harmonise his imagination with whatever he sees and experiences. But sooner or later you're no longer a child, then you've done enough comparing and measuring and drawing: and at that point, when every stroke, dot or splotch is no longer used to compare with a thing, to approach it, then that's enough. Now you only need to talk to yourself and you've got a lot to say - and so much for that.' (G. Baselitz 'Painting Out of my Head, Upside Down, Out of a Hat' November, 1993 quoted in Georg Baselitz, exh. cat., Bologna 1997. p. 45)