A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
Baselitz African art collection
German Painter Shows off his African Fetish
Georg Baselitz' collection of African art is on show this summer 2003
Although German artist Georg Baselitz is best known for his paintings, his extensive collection of African art is worth a show of its own.
Like most artists, Georg Baselitz is best known for his own art, not the art he collects. But for over 30 years the 65-year-old painter, who is renowned for his colorful and energetic works, has been collecting African fetish objects. Now his collection -- which fills his house near Hildesheim in north-central Germany -- is on show for the first time.
Baselitz: The African Collection" which opened this month at Düsseldorf’s K20 am Grabbeplatz gallery features more than 130 objects collected by Baselitz over the past 30 years.
The collection, which ranges from nail and mirror fetishes from the lower Congo region to soothsayer bowels, rag dolls and ancestral wood carved figures from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was gathered at leisure and with no specific agenda by Baselitz (photo), who says he only collected pieces which interested him.
Bateke is a large tribe in the Republic of Congo. They have an ancient culture and make their fetish figures themselves. I started my collection with them and I’m still going with them," Baselitz told Deutsche Welle.
The artist says he finds the figures – made or carved as part of ancient social rituals in Africa – interesting because of the many people who work on each individual figure.
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