Georg Baselitz

Georg Baselitz’s contribution to the 1987 Luna Luna park was the Hand-Painted pavilion featuring a Shadow Room

Georg Baselitz designed flags, posters, and paintings of inverted hands and various animals in primary colors for a pavilion in which visitors’ shadows magically linger on the walls for twenty seconds before gradually vanishing.

Artist

Georg Baselitz

Attraction

Hand-painted pavilion

Born

1938, Germany

The painting Die große Nacht im Eimer (“The Big Night Down the Drain”) (1962-63) was seized from his infamous first solo exhibition (at Galerie Werner & Katz, Berlin) for charges of public indecency

He is associated with Neo-Expressionism, a movement that emphasized emotion over naturalism

He created his first inverted paintings in 1969

Georg Baselitz, Preparatory sketches for artworks exhibited in 1987.

Shadow pavilion with exterior by Georg Baselitz, exhibited 1987.

German artist Georg Baselitz is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. Growing up in the aftermath of World War II in East Germany influenced Baselitz’s interest in the concept of destruction, something he has grappled with repeatedly in his work. In the 1960s, he became known for expressive paintings of distorted figures that combined abstract gestures with cartoon-like naivety to convey raw emotion—partly inspired by an interest in art by mentally unwell people and the writings of avant-garde French writer Antonin Artaud.

Georg Baselitz.

Fairground view: Georg Baselitz, Painted exterior for shadow pavilion. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

In 1963, at his first solo exhibition at Galerie Werner & Katz in Berlin, Baselitz sparked controversy when authorities confiscated his painting Die große Nacht im Eimer (“The Big Night Down the Drain”) (1962-63) which depicts a figure that is often described as a masturbating dwarf, and temporarily closed the exhibition on charges of public indecency. In 1969, he began painting his subjects upside-down in order to resist narrative and draw attention to the artifice of painting, emphasizing that what we see is not actually the true subject. This inversion has since become the defining feature of his work.

Fairground view: Georg Baselitz, Painted exterior for shadow pavilion. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July 1987.

Fairground view: Georg Baselitz, Painted exterior for shadow pavilion. Luna Luna, Hamburg, Germany, June-July, 1987.

Discover more about your favorite artists and attractions

In the original Luna Luna book, translated and reissued for the first time since 1987.