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transmediale Artistic Director Kristoffer Gansing Looks Back Ocula Conversation transmediale Artistic Director Kristoffer Gansing Looks Back Terence Sharpe, Berlin

Since 2012, Kristoffer Gansing has worked as the artistic director of transmediale—a festival at the forefront of digital media and culture that analyses the current moment through self-reflection and anticipation of rapidly oscillating futures. Explorations into moving image, online culture, and the socio-political landscape of digital...

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Taipei Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Taipei Lowdown: Shows to See Tessa Moldan, Taipei

As Taipei Dangdai returns for its second edition between 17 and 19 January 2020 at the Nangang Exhibition Center, a selection of exhibitions across the city confirm Taipei as one of the region's most exciting art hubs. Yahon Chang: Cursive OUR Museum, National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA), No. 59, Section 1, Daguan Road, Banqiao...

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Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Ocula Insight Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Phoebe Blatton, Berlin

Lada Nakonechna's solo exhibition, Images from abroad at Galerie EIGEN + ART (9 January–20 February 2020) ostensibly takes place on an end wall of the gallery. The wall bears markings hand-drawn in graphite that evoke shadows once cast by pictures, since removed, their fixtures also left in situ. Serving as a framework of variable...

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HomePage Artists

b. 1932, Germany

Gerhard Richter Biography

Gerhard Richter is an artist known for his diverse and innovative methods of painting that oscillate between realism and abstraction, and his use of photographic sources as the basis of his work.

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After graduating in 1956 from the Dresden Art Academy, where he trained as a painter, Richter painted murals in the state-dictated Socialist Realist aesthetic. In 1959, he visited II. documenta in Kassel and was impressed by the artwork of the Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana and American painter Jackson Pollock. Drawn to the possibility of artistic freedom outside East Germany, he defected to West Germany in 1961 and enrolled in the Kunstakadmie Düsseldorf. There, he met artists Sigmar Polke and Blinky Palermo and future art dealer Konrad Lueg (later Konrad Fischer), whose shared interest in Pop art led them to found Capitalist Realism in 1963—a critique of both Socialist Realism and capitalism.

Richter's paintings from the 1960s are figurative and based on photographic images, a procedure that would continue with his later works. The oil painting Table (1962), for example, began as a realistic portrayal of a white designer table, but the artist was so dissatisfied with the result that he covered most of it in bold brush marks. Uncle Rudi (1965)—one of his most famous works—is based on a full-length photograph of his uncle in Wehrmacht uniform. While representational, the black-and-white painting was rendered with a blurring effect that makes it difficult to see the image with certainty.

In 1962 Richter began building his vast archive of images. The archive includes photographs taken by him or gathered elsewhere of family members, landscapes, still lifes; newspaper cuttings; and sketches for his paintings. In the early 1970s, he started exhibiting his archival images as works of art in their own right under the title 'Atlas'.

Richter's interest in the tension between photography and painting, and between realism and abstraction led him to experiment with a range of methods. For the large-scale diptych Abstract Painting (726), for example, he dragged a squeegee over the surface of the paint to smear it. Underneath the overall grey, however, shades of red, white, and orange hint at the possibility of an original, representational image. Other methods include painting directly over pictures, such as Self Portrait Standing, Three Times, 17.3.1991 (1991), for which the artist applied increasingly more paint on six identical images of himself standing in his studio, so that by the sixth image the original picture is practically invisible.

Richter continues to test the threshold between the figurative and the abstract. For 'Birkenau' (2014), a four-part abstract series based on the photographs secretly taken by Jewish prisoners at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1944, the artist made photographic renditions of the images and painted over them until they became unrecognisable.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019

Gerhard Richter Featured Artworks

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Abstract Painting by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterAbstract Painting, 1992Oil on canvas
52 x 62 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts Enquire about this work
MV. 98 by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterMV. 98, 2011Lacquer on colour photograph
10 x 15 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
MV. 45 by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterMV. 45, 2011Lacquer on colour photograph
10 x 15 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
Firenze (29.1.2000) by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterFirenze (29.1.2000), 2000Oil on colour photograph
12 x 12 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
4.1.89 by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard Richter4.1.89, 1989Oil on colour photograph
12.7 x 17.5 cm
Gagosian Enquire about this work
Rot-Blau-Gelb [Red-Blue-Yellow] by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterRot-Blau-Gelb [Red-Blue-Yellow], 1973Oil on canvas
200 x 200 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts Enquire about this work
Vermalung (Braun) by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterVermalung (Braun), 1972Oil on canvas
27 x 40 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts Enquire about this work

Gerhard Richter Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Gerhard Richter, Overpainted Photographs at Gagosian, London
Closed
9 April–8 June 2019 Gerhard Richter Overpainted Photographs Gagosian, Davies Street, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Summer Selections at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Closed
28 June–24 August 2018 Group Exhibition Summer Selections Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Gerhard Richter Represented By

Gerhard Richter In Related Press

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Paper work – the British Museum shows off its collection of contemporary drawings Related Press Paper work – the British Museum shows off its collection of contemporary drawings 4 November 2019, Apollo Magazine

Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Rachel Whiteread, Gerhard Richter. These may not be names that spring to mind when you think of the British Museum, but they all have work filed away in its extensive archive of prints and drawings. 'Pushing Paper: Contemporary Drawing from 1970 to Now' lifts a lid on a lesser-known collection at a museum renowned...

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Never Look Away hitches Gerhard Richter paintings to melodrama set in Nazi Germany Related Press Never Look Away hitches Gerhard Richter paintings to melodrama set in Nazi Germany 21 June 2019, Sarinah Maskor

'To talk about painting is not only difficult but perhaps pointless, too,' says Gerhard Richter in Corrina Belz's 2012 documentary Gerhard Richter Painting . 'You can only express in words what words are capable of expressing, what language can communicate. Painting has nothing to do with that.' This wisdom is lost on director Florian Henckel von...

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Buyer’s guide to...Gerhard Richter Related Press Buyer’s guide to...Gerhard Richter 10 June 2019, The Art Newspaper

With a major retrospective coming up at New York's Met Breuer next year (4 March-5 July), plus his Seascapes at the Guggenheim Bilbao (until 9 September), the German artist Gerhard Richter is having another moment. At Art Basel this week, his work is on show at the booths of David Zwirner and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, among others. This is hardly...

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Painting’s Patriarchal Spirit Related Press Painting’s Patriarchal Spirit 20 October 2018, Hyperallergic

LONDON—In 1981, the Royal Academy of Arts in London put on an exhibition of 20 th century painting that changed the art world. A New Spirit in Painting was 'a manifesto,' the accompanying catalogue said; it showcased a set of contemporary, mostly European painters, whose work possessed qualities—figurative, narrative, emotional,...

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