Born Georg Kern in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony. Lives in Derneburg, Lower Saxony. Studied art in 1956 at the College of Fine and Applied Art, East Berlin, where socialist realism was the predominant style. It was here that he changed his name from Kern to Baselitz, after his birthplace. He went to West Berlin in 1957, continuing his study of painting and meeting Penck. In 1961, influenced by Artaud and Lautréamont, they issued their "Ertes Pandämonium", a manifesto and also an iconoclastic programme for his approach to painting. A second manifesto followed in 1962. The following year, he exhibited at the Werner & Katz Gallery, in Berlin, and two of his canvases were confiscated by the public prosecutor. After a trial lasting two years, charges were dropped and the paintings returned. In 1969, he began to execute all his paintings upside down, a reversal that gave him the freedom, as he said, "to concentrate on purely painterly problems". Baselitz was named professor at the Karlsruhe and Berlin Colleges of Art during the 1970s, and became recognized as a father figure of the new expressive painting. In recent years he has turned to polychrome sculpture. He represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in 1982, with a wooden sculpture. Participated at "Documenta" 5 and 7. In 1982, first exhibition in NYC, followed by others in 1988, 1990 and 1995. In 1988 retrospective of his work was held at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Kunsthalle Hamburg. In 1989 received France's medal "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres". Had major retrospectives at Kunsthaus Zürich, and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 1990 and in 1995, at the Guggenheim (travelled in USA and Europe).