Artists have no cure for the Cold War and the Berlin split. Baselitz considers that social destruction is inescapable. He will offer provocation and vulgarity. He takes as emblem Pandemonium abbreviated as P.D. and develops his art with images of bodily fragments in pale colors. He finds his inspiration in the art and expression of the mentally ill, including Artaud.
In 1963 Baselitz tackles the vanity of the Idols in a series that will include five opus. The most achieved is Oberon whose title well reflects the similar harmfulness of mystic and legendary. Four bald heads with disproportionate necks and slightly divergent strabismus are arranged on the image. One of them is perpendicular to the others, removing any logic of position and of life and thus anticipating the innumerable upside down signature figures of the later career of the artist.
The grotesque ghosts by Baselitz are sometimes compared to Munch's Scream, but in his case the characters are silent. Only the artist howls.
On March 8 in London, Phillips sells P.D. Idol, oil on canvas 101 x 82 cm painted in 1964, lot 17 estimated £ 1.5M. The nightmarish application of the colors of this asexual portrait is not far from the expressionism of Francis Bacon.
SOLD for £ 1.93M including premium