In 1966 Georg Baselitz began what would become known as his Fracture Paintings. In the years prior, Baselitz painted archetypal figures in destroyed landscapes, often likened to defeated soldiers returning home or men from the romantic tradition. The Heroes, as the paintings are called, have a melancholic air and present their subjects as lumbering, slow, and overburdened. The Fracture Paintings expand on this subject matter, but the images are split into sections that appear collaged together and out of joint. In Der Jäger (Vier Streifen), the figure of a hunter maintains a mythic quality, rooted in tones of browns and greens of the forest and earth, but the four misaligned sections of the body are in fundamental disarray, lacking a cohesive whole. For Baselitz the Fracture Paintings represent a long tradition of German art and a national identity that is unraveling, breaking under the weight of its own history.
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