Ringing the gallery walls, 14 drawings are inscribed with the day, month and year (1998) of their making. Awash in subdued, lyrical hues, they suggest motifs of Eastern European folklore, with costumed figures floating in embryonic ovals attended by decoratively placed reductive floral motifs. These works are of a piece with the drawings and paintings that have reflected the artist's interest in Slavic decoration since 1997. In one of the untitled drawings, a characteristically inverted robed figure, skirts ornamented with ink arabesques, topped with a hat, recalls the painted fables of Chagall. Floating in its own car-touche of a pale, golden wash, the figure is accompanied by another reminiscent of a putto, and bold, rose-shaped elements, colored green.
Baselitz seems to lay down a wash of color, locate figurative elements within it and confidently limn them in india ink. Elsewhere, figures or parts of figures--an arm, a head, a section of the torso with an arm--emerge from or are drawn into these pale washes. In several drawings, the roseate forms reappear, sometimes in the corners, sometimes elsewhere, and in one or two, the emblematic Baselitz eagle, right side up and upside down. Taken together, these absorbing drawings recall the population of a Tarot deck, with its hanging man, upside down as these figures so often are, a sign of release, of vulnerability, of overturning priorities and the old order.
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COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group