Gerhard Richter - Ice

Gerhard Richter (German, b. 1932). “Ice” (detail), 1981. Oil on canvas, 27 9/16 x 39 3/8 in. (70 x 100 cm). Collection of Ruth McLoughlin, Monaco. © Gerhard Richter 2019 (08102019).

Gerhard Richter: Painting After All – Met Breuer



The Met presents ‘Gerhard Richter: Painting After All’, a major loan exhibition devoted to the work of one of the greatest artists of our time: Gerhard Richter (German, born Dresden 1932). March 4 – July 5, 2020.

Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met Breuer)

”Gerhard Richter: Painting After All” highlights two important recent series by the artist that serve as significant points of departure for the exhibition: “Birkenau” (2014) and “Cage” (2006), both of which will be exhibited in the United States for the first time. Richter’s encounter with the only known photographs taken by prisoners inside the Nazi concentration camp led to the creation of the Birkenau series. The four paintings speak to Richter’s belief in painting as a powerful means to address the complex and often-difficult legacies of both personal and civic history. The six “Cage” paintings are key to understanding his lifelong preoccupation with abstraction through a different lens. In homage to the American composer and philosopher John Cage, whose innovative compositional techniques used chance as a way to ”imitate nature,” Richter’s meticulous multi-layered paintings are based on similar principles of calculated incidents.

Comprising over 100 works from a prolific career—encompassing paintings, glass sculptures, prints, and photographs—the exhibition presents an incisive cut through Richter’s entire oeuvre. Significant early works are brought into visual dialogue with recent ones that share a singular engagement with postwar avant-garde art practices, particularly his investigations into the ongoing formal and conceptual possibilities of painting. This is evident through his often-simultaneous production of both abstract and figurative compositions, the chromatic and conceptual nuances of gray across different media, and his interpretations of landscape and portraiture. Interwoven throughout the show are works that testify to Richter’s long reckoning with history, as well as his exploration of photography’s relationship to realism and its mediation of memory.

The exhibition is the first major exhibition in the United States on the work of Gerhard Richter in nearly twenty years.



Related content

'Panorama': Gerhard Richter at the Centre Pompidou (exhibition, 2012)


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