Gerhard Richter, Reader 1994, © Gerhard Richter Courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Gerhard Richter at 80, a Retrospective of the Significant Moments

Gerhard Richter, Aunt Marianne [Tante Marianne] 1965, (CR 87), Yageo Foundation, Taiwan © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Demo 1997, (CR:848-3), The Rachofsky Collection © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Cage 4  2006, (CR:897-4) Tate. Lent from a private collection 2007 © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Kerze (Candle), 1982, Oil on canvas, 76.2 cm x 76.2 cm, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.


Tate Modern
+ 44 (0)20 887 8888
Gerhard Richter: Panorama
October 6, 2011-January 8, 2012

As evoked by the title Panorama this exhibition presents a broad look at the wide range of Richter’s practice, discovering contradictions and connections, continuities and breaks. Each room is devoted to a particular moment of his career showing how he explored a set of ideas. While the focus is on painting, the exhibition includes glass constructions, mirrors, drawings, and photographs, and explores how Richter uses these media to ask questions about painting.

The exhibition includes many of Richter’s most well-known works such as Ema (Nude on a staircase)1966, Candle1982, Betty 1988 and Reader 1994. There are also important works that are rarely shown: the first Colour Chart from 1966, 4 Panes of Glass 1967, a triptych of Cloud paintings from 1970, and, for the first time outside Germany, Richter’s monumental 20 meter-long painting Stroke (on Red) 1980, based on a photograph of a brush stroke. There are several groups of important abstract paintings including a room of brightly coloured works from the early 1980s, a room of monumental squeegee paintings from the 1990s, and the Cage series 2006.

Richter was one of the first German artists to reflect on the history of National Socialism, creating paintings of family members who had been members, as well as victims of, the Nazi party. In the late 1980s, looking back to the history of radical political activity in West Germany in the 1970s, he produced the fifteen-part work 18 October 1977 1988, a sequence of black and white paintings based on images of the Baader Meinhof group. At the same time as developing a complex body of abstract work, often using squeegees to drag paint across the surface of his canvases, Richter has continued to respond to significant moments in history. In 2005 he painted September, an image of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, which is shown for the first time in the UK in this exhibition.

Richter is often celebrated for the diversity of his approaches to painting. His practice can seem to be structured by various oppositions, with paintings after photographs as well as abstract pictures; traditional still-lifes alongside highly charged subjects; monochrome grey works and multicoloured grids. Some paintings are planned out and ordered; others are the result of unpredictable accumulations of marks and erasures. Richter sometimes maintains these oppositions, but at other times he undoes them.  This exhibition shows how he often brings abstraction and figuration together, and explores related ideas in very different looking works. The exhibition reveals breaks and new beginnings in his career, but it also reveals questions that he has asked throughout his life.

Richter was born in Dresden in 1932 and after training in the East, moved to West Germany in 1961. He was part of a group of painters working in Düsseldorf, that included Sigmar Polke and Konrad Lueg, who turned to image-based painting during the emergence of American Pop art. Major solo exhibitions include the 36th Venice Biennale in 1972, his first large-scale retrospective at Städtische Kunsthalle und Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf in 1986 and Forty Years of Painting, a large-scale retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2002. He installed Black Red Gold in the foyer of the Reichstag building in Berlin in 1999 and the window that he designed for Cologne Cathedral was completed in 2007. Richter lives and works in Cologne.

Gerhard Richter: Panorama is curated by Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate, and Mark Godfrey, Curator, Tate Modern with Amy Dickson, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern, with colleagues in Berlin and Paris. The exhibition has been organised in association with Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, where it will be curated by Udo Kittelmann and Dorothee Brill, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, where it will be curated by Alfred Pacquement, Camille Morineau and Lucia Pesapane. The exhibition is accompanied by a major new catalogue.

Gerhard Richter, Betty, 1988, Oil on canvas, 102 cm x 72 cm.

Gerhard Richter, Ema (Nude on a Staircase), 1966, Oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm.

Gerhard Richter, Mustang Squadron 1964, (CR 19), Private Collection © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, 4 Panes of Glass 1967.

Gerhard Richter, Cage, 2006, 300 x 300 cm, Tate Modern, London. Leihgabe aus einer Privatsammlung, © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter's Decades-Long Adventures in the Realm of Abstraction

Gerhard Richter, Claudius, 1986, Öl auf Leinwand, 311 x 406 cm, Sammlung Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, Courbet, 1986 , Öl auf Leinwand, 300 x 250 cm, Privatsammlung, © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Wald, 2005, Öl auf Leinwand, 197 x 132 cm, Collection of Warren and Mitzi Eisenberg, a promised gift to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, © Gerhard Richter.


Haus der kunst
Prinzregentenstrasse 1
+ 49 89 21127-115
Gerhard Richter
Abstract Paintings

February 27-May 17, 2009

Gerhard Richter has been painting his abstract paintings since the 1970s. Today they comprise two-thirds of all his work. With its concentration on this painting type, this exhibition differs from past Richter retrospectives, which primarily focused — each updated — on the proportional shift from the artist's photograph-based paintings to his abstract ones.

The series Cage from 2006 and Wald (Forest) from 2005 — the latter on view for the first time in Europe — serve as the show's point of departure. The exhibition traces Richter's artistic development — represented in these series — to its roots, which stretch back to the mid-1980s: from the four-part series Bach (1992) and the color-reduced St. Gallen, (1989) to earlier, more vibrant paintings such as Blau (Blue) (1988) and Claudius (1986).

Gerhard Richter uses the expanse and height of the exhibition rooms in the Haus der Kunst to flexibly interpret the serial character of the nearly 50 large format paintings: to depict the sum of the individual works through their concentration in one room (Bach), or to emphasize the individual works by hanging them in different, successive rooms (Cage).

In the mid-1980s Gerhard Richter produced an unusual number of large format paintings, frequently in series of three or four works. These paintings — with all their formal analogies — are characterized by a graphic multiformality and form an open work group.

A main concern of the artist was to overcome the randomness of visual experience and to heighten the individual effect of color and form. Gerhard Richter applies the elements and structures of paint with brushes, squeegees and palette knives, so that the already existing layers are overlapped or completely obliterated by new ones.

The traces of these tools and the layers of paint combine to create structures of spatial or landscape impressions without their consolidating into a recognizable object. Arbitrariness, chance, coincidence and destruction allow a specific type of painting to emerge but never a predetermined image. For Richter this multi-layered manner of painting is not based on a found motif or existing image; the artist, rather, works his way free of all motif specifications.

"Every consideration that I use to 'construct' a painting is incorrect and when the execution succeeds then this is only because I destroy this in part, or because it works despite this fact, by not disturbing and appearing planned." (Gerhard Richter)

Since the late 1980s Richter has created paintings by dragging a squeegee in vertical or horizontal paths over the entire width or height of the canvas, applying as well as removing paint. Undercoats thus emerge smooth and diffused and are simultaneously superimposed again in a complex manner.

Over the course of his artistic development, Gerhard Richter has developed various painting strategies. His abstract works are witness to his unrelenting preoccupation and formal examination of the condition of his own medium.

The beginnings of abstraction were characterized by an attempt at renewal. Abstraction was considered to be the most appropriate means of artistic self-expression and the aspired-to "pure" representation of representational techniques developed into subjectivism and high pathos for artists such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.

Post-war artists, however, had experienced the collapse of a civilization; they made use of abstraction's vocabulary in order to paint themselves free of their despair in their age's circumstances. This partly violent gesture led Gerhard Richter to realize early on that the works of his redecessors, such as Jackson Pollock, as well as Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein, would, in the long run, fall pray to the "stockpile of the spectacle." (Buchloh)

Richter, therefore, had to ask himself how a contemporary painted abstraction, which was born out of disillusionment and hopelessness, could now look like. Out of the tension between the utopia of a new beginnings and the mourning over the losses of these, he came to his own conception of painting and was ultimately able to find his own expression of abstraction.

As with his predecessors, the question of his abstract paintings' relation to the world is also an issue with Richter: Is a sense of unease or the deficit of a particular social situation apparent in Richter's abstract works? Do they express a general sense of the times beyond their subjective mood? It is typical of the reception of Richter's abstract paintings that no answers have been formulated that point in a singular direction; rather the critique of the dialectical interplay of coincidence and structure, and of materiality and mentality typical of Richter are positively emphasized. The abstract language he has developed maintains moderation between accessibility and reserve. "The painting of Gerhard Richter is a discreet painting. It is a painting that knows how to distinguish between too much and too little with regard to the expression, reflexivity and self-accusation of painterly means." (Beate Söntgen)

The exhibition is developed in cooperation with the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and is curated by Ulrich Wilmes, who joined the Haus der Kunst in Munich in spring 2008.

A catalogue with contributions by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Beate Söntgen, Gregor Stemmrich and Ulrich Wilmes has been published by Hatje Cantz, ISBN 978-3-7757-2248-3, museum price 49,80 Euros.

Gerhard Richter, Bach, 1992, Öl auf Leinwand, 300 x 300 cm, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, © Gerhard Richter.


Gerhard Richter, Schwan (3), 1989, Öl auf Leinwand, 300 x 250 cm, Museum Boijmans von Beuningen, Rotterdam, © Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, 4900 Farben (4900 Colours), 2007, Enamel paint on Aludibond, 680 x 680 cm, La Collection de la Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création, © 2008 Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Master of the Unanticipated Revivication of Painting

Gerhard Richter, 256 Farben (256 Colours), 1974/84, Lacquer on canvas, 222 x 414 cm, © 2008 Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, 4096 Farben (4096 Colours), 1974, Lacquer on canvas, 254 x 254 cm, © 2008 Gerhard Richter.


Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
020 7402 6075
Gerhard Richter, 4900 Colours: Version II
September 23-November 16, 2008

Gerhard Richter (b. Dresden, 1932) is one of the greatest living artists and perhaps the greatest living painter. Since the early 1960s, he has explored the medium of painting when many were heralding its death. He has produced a remarkably varied body of work, including photography-based portrait, landscape, and still-life paintings; gestural and monochrome abstractions; and colour chart grid paintings.

The exhibition features 4900 Colours, a major new work of bright monochrome squares arranged in a grid to create a field of kaleidoscopic color. The 196 square panels of 25 coloured squares can be reconfigured in a variations, from a large-scale piece to multiple, smaller paintings. Richter has developed a version of 49 paintings for the exhibition.

4900 Colours is parallel to Richter's design for the south transept window of Cologne Cathedral, which replaced the stained glass destroyed in World War II. The window, unveiled in August 2007, comprises 11,500 hand-blown squares of glass in 72 colours derived from the palette of the original Medieval glazing. The seemingly arbitrary distribution of colors was generated using a computer program and renewed interest in using chance to define composition led the artist to develop the concept for 4900 Colours.

Richter produced the first in his series of grid paintings in 1966 in which he replicated, in large scale, industrial colour charts produced by paint manufacturers. As with his photo-paintings, the use of found material removed the artist's subjective compositional preferences, however, the Colour Chart Paintings took this a step further, eradicating any hierarchy of subject or representational intent, and focusing on colour to create an egalitarian language of art.

Since 1964, Richter has had more than 100 solo exhibitions around the world. He represented Germany at the 36th Venice Biennale in 1972 and was the subject of a major touring retrospective, Forty Years of Painting, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2002.

The Serpentine Gallery exhibition is curated by gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones, co-director Han Ulrich Obrist, and exhibition curator Rebecca Morrill. It precedes major presentations of the artist's work in the UK in 2008 and 2009: at National Gallery, Edinburgh from November 8, 2008 and at National Portrait Gallery, London from February 26, 2009.

Gerhard Richter, 1024 Farben (1024 Colours), 1966, Lacquer on canvas, 254 x 478 cm, © 2008 Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, 1024 Farben (1024 Colours), 1973, Lacquer on canvas, 299 x 299 cm, © 2008 Gerhard Richter.

Gerhard Richter, Alfa Romeo, 1965, 150 x 155 cm, Oil on canvas, Signed and dated on reverse, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

Gerhard Richter Curates His Large Paintings from Private Collections

Gerhard Richter, Party, 1963, 150 x 182 cm, Oil, nails, cord on canvas and newspaper, Signed and dated on reverse, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

Gerhard Richter, Motorboot (1. Fassung), 1965, 169.5 x 169.5 cm, Oil on canvas, Private Collection,, Permanent loan Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda.


Museum Frieder Burda
Lichtentaler Allee 8 b
+49 (0) 72 21 / 3 98 98-0
Gerhard Richter.
Paintings from private collections

January 19, 2008-April 27, 2008

Gerhard Richter will mark the beginning of the new year at the Frieder Burda Museum. From January 19 to April 27, 2008, a large Richter show with important works from the private collections Böckmann (Berlin), Ströher (Darmstadt) and Frieder Burda, complemented by works in the artist’s own possession, will be presented in Baden-Baden with more than 60 mostly large scale works dating from 1963 to 2007.

The exhibition presents the whole range of Richter’s excessive œuvre, from photorealistic paintings to large-scale abstract compositions with their fascinating colours and technical perfection, focusing on all the different painting techniques Richters excels in.

The show is curated by Gerhard Richter himself. The opportunity to bring his paintings into a dramatic dialogue with Richard Meyer’s Museum architecture matters a lot to Richter.

The approximately 60 exhibited works from private collections provide an insight into more than 40 years of creativity, reflecting German post-war history as well as the notion of painting itself.

Götz Adriani about Richter: "Richter has become the leading global authority over the last decades, a kind of artistic yardstick.

He, therefore, is the only German painter who has been honored with an uncompromising 40-year retrospective Museum of Modern Art, New York, during his lifetime."

The collections shown in Baden-Baden complement each other perfectly. The idea goes back to the large Polke retrospective in 2007.

Due to the success of this retrospective, that combined three private collections at the Frieder Burda Museum, the museum had decided to organize further exhibitions based on the same conception. Another Georg Baselitz show is planned for spring 2009.

Subsequent shows of the Richter exhibition (in changed arrangement) will be shown from May 9 to July 2, 2008, in the run-up to the Olympics 2008 at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, from November 1, 2008 to January 4, 2009 at the National Gallery Complexe in Edinburgh, from January 24 to May 3, 2009 at the Albertina in Vienna and, from May 16 to August 16, 2009, at the MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg.

Richter has received numerous awards for his work, including in Tokyo the Praemium Imperiale (1997) and the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia (2000). Since 2007 he is an honorary citizen of Cologne, where the designed the Domes South transept-window consecrated the same year.

The exhibition will be accompagnied by a catalogue edited by Götz Adriani, including comprehensive notes on the inventory of Richter paintings of the participating collections.

Gerhard Richter, Gelbgrün, 1982, 2 parts, each 260 x 200 cm, Oil on canvas, Signed and dated on reverse,Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

Gerhard Richter, Tote, 1963, 100 x 150 cm, Oil on canvas, Private Collection, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

Gerhard Richter, 25 Farben, 2007, 48,5 x 48,5 cm, Enamel paint on aluminium panel,Private Collection, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda.

Gerhard Richter, Decke, 1988, 200 x 140 cm, Oil on canvas, Collection Böckmann, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

Gerhard Richter, Ausschnitt, 1971, 3 parts, each 250 x125 cm, together: 250 x 375 cm, Oil on canvas,Weserburg – Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Collection Böckmann, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda.

Gerhard Richter, Krems, 1986, 72 x 102 cm, Oil on canvas, Collection
Böckmann, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

Gerhard Richter, 25 Farben, 2007, 48.5 x 48.5 cm, Enamel paint on aluminium panel, Private Collection, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda.

Gerhard Richter, Pavillon, 1982, 100 x 70 cm, Oil on canvas, Collection Böckmann, © Gerhard Richter, Photo: Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.

Gerhard Richter, Mustang Squadron 1964, (CR 19), Private Collection © Gerhard Richter.