This summer a monumental three-figure sculpture by Georg Baselitz, one of Germany’s most celebrated living artists, will be installed in the John Madejski Garden. It has been created in response to Antonio Canova’s neoclassical sculpture The Three Graces (1814-1817) recently redisplayed at the V&A. Baselitz’s Untitled (2013), standing over 3.5 meters high, is a contemporary twist on Canova’s carved marble figure group.
Based on a childhood memory of three promenading village beauties, the maidens in Baselitz’s latest sculptural work introduce the traditional themes of The Three Graces: beauty, charm and joy, but are depicted linking arms and wearing high heels. The surface of Baselitz’s bronze figure group contrasts with that of Canova’s smooth marble forms by purposefully retaining the rough texture of his initial wood model from which the final artwork has been cast.
Untitled (2013) is part of a series of wooden and, more recently, bronze sculptures created by Baselitz over the last 30 years, produced whilst still working on his paintings. They are inspired by African sculpture, medieval carvings and folk art.
Untitled (2013) by Georg Baselitz will be on display in the V&A John Madejski Garden for free, 15 June – 8 September 2013.
The project has been supported by White Cube