Baselitz's early influences include Art Informel and 19th century social realist painters such as Ferdinand von Rayski. The former informs a concern with painterly values that drives much of Baselitz's work, evidenced by his signature technique of depicting his subjects upside down to draw attention to the act of painting itself. The latter provides Baselitz with his traditional subject matter, mostly landscapes and portraits, despite being in stark opposition to the automatic painting inclinations of Art Informel. Given this ideological polarity, it is no wonder that Baselitz found heroes in the German Expressionists, who combined the bourgeois subject matter of the Impressionists with a maligned psychic energy. Expressionist works transformed everyday scenes of figures strolling and shopping into tense views dominated by bold colors and vigorous brush work. Like the Expressionists, Baselitz's employment of this ideological idiom creates a palatable compositional tension that propels his paintings.
In 1986, sculpture became a central focus of Baselitz's work, particularly the bust form. These sculptures are marked by their use of rough hewn cross-hatching which create three-dimensional grids across the subject's face. The resulting grids delineate space and texture and emphasize the work's formal qualities. This sculptural exploration, begun in 1980, is an extension of Baselitz's obsession with painting itself and strongly influenced his how he approached his paintings. His use of a grid in the foreground of Gartenzaun is a direct reference to his sculptural technique. In the present work, the grid functions to delineate the two-dimensional canvas and obscures the image, that of a house inverted. Segmenting images has been a major theme in Baselitz's work since the 1960s, when in the last of the "Hero" paintings he began splitting his subjects. Fabrice Hergott writes that, "By creeping into the gaps, [Baselitz's] 'fracture-paintings' open the veil of the surface and the painting changes quality, its space is no longer complex, acts in a more frontal manner and assumes a richness of modulations whose possibilities Baselitz continues to explore to this day" (F. Hergott, "The Interior Space", Baselitz, exh. cat., Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Bologna, 1997, p. 113).