Sale: 550 / Evening Sale, June 07. 2024 in Munich Lot 59

Georg Baselitz
Dix besucht Goya, 2008.
Oil on canvas
€ 400,000 - 600,000

$ 428,000 - 642,000

Dix besucht Goya. 2008.
Oil on canvas.
Signed, dated "November 2008" and titled on the reverse. 300 x 250 cm (118.1 x 98.4 in).
In the present work, Baselitz references the extreme depiction of physicality in Otto Dix`s painting "Mädchen vor dem Spiegel" (1921), which was destroyed in World War II. [JS].

• Monumental homage to Otto Dix, and one of the largest Baselitz paintings on the international auction market.
• A continuation of the famous “Hero Paintings” of the 1960s: In a free painterly style, Baselitz confronts us with the physicality of a vulnerable anti-heroine scarred by life.
• Powerful depiction of the fragility and transience of our human existence.
• Other works from this important work complex are at the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, and the Sprengel Museum, Hanover.
• Major survey shows have recently been presented by the Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2018), the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2021/22), the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2023) and currently at the White Cube, London

We are grateful to the Georg Baselitz Archive, Munich, for the kind support in cataloging this lot. The work is registered in the archive.

PROVENANCE: Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (with the stamp on the stretcher).
Achenbach Art Consulting, Düsseldorf.
Private collection Southern Germany (acquired from the above in 2009).

EXHIBITION: Georg Baselitz. Dr. Freund und andere Musik, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin 2009 (illu. 1).

Called up: June 7, 2024 - ca. 18.56 h +/- 20 min.

Otto Dix as a source of inspiration
In 1957, Otto Dix was honored with an exhibition in East Berlin. The student Baselitz visited the show, and Dix became one of the aspiring painter's declared role models. It is probably that very tragedy and brokenness, elements characteristic of the work of both artists and documents of their war experiences in World War and II, respectively, which often go hand in hand with a low level of self-esteem. Otto Dix, the 'biting', cynical realist, would not serve as a source of inspiration for Baselitz for the first time. In this case, it is the painting "Mädchen vor dem Spiegel" from 1921, with unknown whereabouts. What remains is a paraphrase of the theme in the form of a lithograph "Mädchen vor dem Spiegel" from the same year. Baselitz adopts the Dresden artist's intention with restless, harsh brushwork, a harsh, alienated use of color, and a declared desire for ugliness: an exaggerated scene from the world of prostitution. However, he makes the stylistic allusion to Otto Dix subordinate to his style. "An adaptation of Dix's woman-in-the-mirror picture. A frightening, horrible, ugly picture. A grimace. So I painted it particularly badly, particularly unintelligently. Look at the colors. Like a poster painter, on black," said Georg Baselitz in an interview with Marc Fischer on the occasion of the exhibition "Dr. Freud und andere Musik" 2009, Contemporary Fine Art, Berlin. Marc Fischer describes the situation of the interview in the studio on Lake Ammer: "You don't forget Dix. There are blotted photocopies of his paintings all over the studio floor. And when Baselitz is asked why it is always Dix, he replies: "Above all, it is his preference for ugliness that I agree with so much. I have also been preoccupied with ugliness for decades, practically always, with the grotesque, with grimaces. Take the Russian paintings, take "Die große Nacht", even the sculptures - it is, above all, a great dissecting disgust that is expressed visually. We probably also share childhood experiences, war experiences, outsider positions, etc." (Fischer, ibid., Berlin 2009).
Otto Dix and his models
After the end of the First World War, Otto Dix went back to Dresden, to the city, and his artist friends. In addition to the many important paintings that Otto Dix produced after the First World War, first in Dresden and from 1922 to 1925 in Düsseldorf, it was primarily these watercolors and drawings that describe his time and which are documents of the most productive years of his life. Dix mastered his personal experiences of war, the horror of death, the civilian victims, and the atrocities of the soldiers in numerous pencil, chalk, and charcoal drawings, which he made in the trenches at the front and which ultimately culminated in his main graphic work, the cycle "Der Krieg" (The War) consisting of 50 etchings, rendered even more brutally, directly and mercilessly. Dix also confronts the motif of death with Eros, the life of the prostitute. The prostitute embodies vitality, she is life-affirming, but not romantic or naïve, but similarly brutally realistic and anti-bourgeois, not to say "matter-of-fact". The artist's first biographer, Fritz Löffler from Dresden, coined the phrase "disillusionment of Eros". At the time, Dix noted what he saw when he lived at the end of Ziegelgasse in the brothel district of Dresden's old town in 1919 and roamed the scene like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Montmartre, Heinrich Zille in Berlin's Wedding district or Ernst Ludwig Kirchner on Potsdamer Platz. "We don't need to discuss my pictures, we can see them. I start from what I see. I don't want to invent new themes, I don't want to arrange them [..]. I prefer to see the primal themes of humanity anew with my own eyes. The exterior of things is important to me, by reproducing the external form one also captures the interior", said Otto Dix years later in 1958, but this still applies to his approach in the creation of his painting. (quoted from Diether Schmidt, Otto Dix im Selbstbildnis, Berlin 1978, p. 222).

"Mädchen vor dem Spiegel". An act of provocation
The painting, which is only documented in a black-and-white photograph, appears to show a young woman in underwear in front of a full-length mirror. We see the sitter in a three-quarter profile from behind; the mirror image, however, shows her as an aged, haggard woman in make-up. With the mirror, Dix takes up an old motif of transience: beauty is transient! However, he raises this well-known expression to a higher level of art-theoretical meaning: the mirror is no longer merely an attribute, as in vanitas depictions, but the image it represents is the main motif of the painting. "I have always been drawn to characters. The alleyways, the cafés - you could find everything there [..]. The dreary, the commonplace appealed to me." (Otto Dix, Selbstzeugnisse, quoted from Susanne Pfäffle, Otto Dix, Stuttgart 1991) In October 1922, the painting "Mädchen vor dem Spiegel" was confiscated from a non-jury art show at Lehrter Bahnhof and became the subject of a trial for "obscenity" at the Berlin district court. Expert witnesses included Max Slevogt and Karl Hofer; Dix was acquitted in 1923 but probably did not get the painting back. Ten years later, in the fall of 1933, the first public denunciation of a "degenerate" artist took place with the first defamation exhibition in the atrium of Dresden City Hall. During the purges of 1937, around 260 works were confiscated from German museums and some of them were at the center of the traveling exhibition "Degenerate Art" in Munich. "For decades, indeed practically always, I have been preoccupied with ugliness; with the grotesque, the grimaces", Baselitz once again justifies his use of this famous Dix motif.
What's Goya's role?
Georg Baselitz painted "Nacht mit Hund" (Night with a Dog) in 1982. For this motif and a series of etchings of sleeping dogs created in 1998 and 1999, Baselitz was inspired by Francisco de Goya's dog with a longing gaze from his cycle of frescoes "Pinturas Negras", created between 1820 and 1823 and painted during a period of deepest depression. With pain and despair, Goya looks into an ever darker, violent side of the world behind the scenes of the social fabric, so that the observer feels pity and inadvertently lingers on the poor, infinitely sad dog in silent lamentation, with only its head pushed over the edge of a mound of earth.
The basic values of black, yellow, and white run into each other on Baselitz's canvas. A yellow bar marks the upper edge of the picture, setting a horizon line. Beneath the yellow stripe is a layer of black, which probably once primed the entire picture but was then painted over in white. A blackened man hangs upside down up to his knees in the yellow horizon, his mouth open in a silent scream and with wide, empty eyes. To his right, the black dog protrudes from a network of broad black and yellow brushstrokes, visible only up to his neck - like Goya's. A picture within a picture, rectangularly framed by the horizon line and the white that dominates the rest of the surface. Man and dog cry out for the same thing, they are the night and the darkness in the middle of broad daylight. They are deeply immersed in a desolate state of mind and confusion.
Not only Dix and Goya or Courbet are deeply rooted in the artist's pictorial world, they are also part of his intellectual inventory of role models, just as the graphic works from the Mannerist period, which Baselitz discovered and collected for himself and thus established a "Maniera Baselitz - Das Nonkonforme als Quelle der Phantasie" (The Nonconformist as a Source of Imagination), as addressed in an exhibition at the Kupferstich Kabinett in Dresden in 2018: "In the early 1960s, Georg Baselitz deliberately set himself apart from non-representational abstract painting. He went against the prevailing artistic zeitgeist of the time, not only with the pictorial themes". ( )
"I am a German artist and what I do is rooted in German tradition. It is ugly and expressive." Georg Baselitz (quoted from Siegfried Gohr, Paintings Don't Come With Guarantees, in Flash Art 26/1993, issue 171, pp.67-72) For Baselitz, it is a matter of decoding traditional images of people, roles, and society. This certainly begins with the new types, the "Shepherd and Hero Pictures" and their historical transformations. The examination of Otto Dix is therefore so direct, expressive, and provocative. It is based on challenging conceptual considerations and a highly individual aesthetic, with which both Dix and Baselitz reflect on art and society in their days. And this is what they share in the long run. [MvL]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Georg Baselitz "Dix besucht Goya"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.