With “Heroes” Baselitz has created a cohesive group of works consisting of paintings, drawings and prints made between 1965 and 1966, initially during his residency at the Villa Romana in Florence and later in West Berlin. They comprise enigmatic portraits, whose titles enable us to identify them as young heroes, rebels, partisans, shepherds and dissidents, but also young painters. In spite of their exaggeratedly bulky physiques and their demonstrative virility, they appear battered and crippled and anything but heroic in the midst of apocalyptic landscapes. Sunk in melancholy they look like old-fashioned, fairy-tale giants who have no place in reality – however familiar these creatures may still feel to us today. At the time of their creation they were perceived as pure provocation, depicting a “New Type” of “Heroes” which represented an anachronism to the German economic miracle of the 1960s, although today we are becoming more and more aware that these years were a period of forgetting and silencing. The “New Type” of “Heroes”, the alter ego of a whole generation of younger artists, was certainly ahead of its time: indeed all the contradictions of its visual idiom foreshadow the political revolt of the movements of 1968.