The Met went into lockdown during the pandemic, in the same year the museum was supposed to have celebrated its 150 years with a commemorative exhibition. Nonetheless, the event will not go unremembered because famed German artist Georg Baselitz, well known for his inversion painting technique, gifted the museum with six of his early inverted portraits.
Up to July 18, 2021, the six paintings are on exhibit,at the Robert Lehman Wing, as a post celebration of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s ( a.k.a The Met, a.k.a. MMOA), 150th year in existence. The artworks are mostly portraits of Baselitz’s relatives and friends whom he painted in 1969, including a first-ever painting of Baselitz’s wife Elke. The collection is said to be deeply personal for the artist and his wife, being in the artist’s collection for nearly six decades.
Georg Baselits and his wife said they want to express their special connection to the U.S., as the country has always been a symbol of freedom for them. In gifting The Met with paintings that have stayed with them for decades, their addition to the museum’s collection will symbolize that special connection.
About Georg Baselitz”s Radical Inversion Technique
The year 1969 was a turning point for Baselitz as it was the time he sought to remove the attention from the portrait’s narrative content. That way, the audience will focus on the painting itself. After a decade of practicing his art, he decided to depict his subjects upside down, which allowed him to embrace typical genres that he avoided before.
According to Georg, the radical strategy of literally turning the subject’s image upside down, enabled him to focus on the possibilities of his paintings instead of the person posing for the portrait and its impact on the audience. The inversion approach continued as it became of interest to him to paint other art genres like landscapes and nudes all upside down.