Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter, Schwan (3), 1989
Öl auf Leinwand, 300 x 250 cm, Mu-seum Boijmans von Beuningen, Rotterdam
Copyright Gerhard Richter

October 13, 2008

Gerhard Richter
Abstract Paintings

18 October 2008 – 1 February 2009

50667 Köln

In Museum Ludwig, for the first time, a wide-ranging museum exhibition of works by Gerhard Richter will concentrate solely on the abstract paintings he has produced since the mid-1970s, and that constitute the most striking body of work in his oeuvre. Beginning with paintings such as “Courbet” (1986) or “Blau” (1988), which are charged with the utmost of colour, his development to the present will be charted via the series entitled “Bach” (1992) to the twelve “Wald” (2005) paintings, which will be shown for the first time in Europe.

These at times very large works are created in a very complex manner. The paint structures are applied with brushes, squeegees und palette knifes that are drawn across the wet layers of paint, so that new strata are superimposed on existing ones, or even obliterate them.

As a result, the works evince an immense painterly intensity. They are the result of a “highly planned spontaneity”. Although Richter’s approach using “chance, arbitrari-ness, whim and destruction brings about a particular kind of painting, it is never a predetermined painting”. What Richter aims at in his abstracts is deriving content from the form. Painting for Richter is “the creation of an analogy to the ineffable and inconceivable, which in this way will assume form and become freely available”.

The around 40 paintings that will be shown come from private collections and mu-seums in Europe and the USA, and in some cases have never previously been ex-hibited in Germany.

Parallel to the exhibition a book will be published by Hatje Cantz with texts by Benja-min H.D. Buchloh, Beate Söntgen, Gregor Stemmrich and Ulrich Wilmes, approx. 160 pages, approx. 80 colour reproductions.

As a highlight of the supporting programme accompanying the exhibition, the com-poser Steve Reich, who is greatly admired by Gerhard Richter, will play “Drumming Part One” on 27 January 2009 in Museum Ludwig and afterwards “Music for 18 Musicians” with Ensemble Modern and Synergy Vocals at the Kölner Philharmonie.

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October 13, 2008

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