Brain Pickings

Gerhard Richter: Tate Modern Celebrates One of the Greatest Artists Alive


An ambitious retrospective on one of the most influential and prolific artists alive today.

Born in East Germany in 1932, Gerhard Richter is one of the most colossal and influential artists alive today, celebrated for liberating painting from the legacy of Socialist Realism in Eastern Germany and Abstract Expressionism throughout Western Europe. To celebrate the artist’s 80th birthday, the Tate Modern is hosting Panorama — an ambitious major retrospective of the artist’s work, including his most iconic pieces — “Ema (Nude descending a staircase)” (1966), “Candle” (1982), “Reader” (1994), “Stoke (on Red)” (1980) — and his hotly debated response to 9/11, “September” (2005).

The exhibition’s excellent companion volume Panorama: A Retrospective collects more than a half-century of Richter’s genius, including photo-paintings, abstracts, landscapes and seascapes, portraits, glass and mirror works, sculptures, drawings and photographs. From his early black-and-white paintings to his renowned abstractions to his paintings of family members who had been members, as well as victims, of the Nazi party to his photorealist depictions of candles, skulls and clouds that shaped 20th-century photorealism, the volume features Richter’s most celebrated paintings alongside comparative works, studio photographs, archival images, and Nicholas Serota’s revealing interview with the artist.

Gerhard Richter's 'Demo,' 1997 / Image courtesy of Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter's 'Mustang Squadron,' 1964 / Image courtesy of Gerhard Richter

Serota’s conversation with Richter was also released on video, very much worth the watch:

via Susan Everett

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