Happy birthday Gerhard Richter!
Gerhard Richter’s art career spans almost six decades. Largely considered one of the greatest artists of our time, his 90thbirthday—he was born on 9th February 1932—sees the inauguration of two new exhibitions that celebrate various aspects of his multifaceted work, which has embraced everything from realism and abstraction to pop art, minimalism and conceptualism.
Richter was born in Dresden and lived in the city until 1961, studying at the Kunstakademie from 1951-1956 before moving to Dusseldorf. As part of the birthday celebrations, the upper floor of Dresden’s Albertinum will be showing “Portraits. Glass. Abstracts“—which has been designed in conjunction with the artist himself.
Visitors will find forty selected works from Richter’s private collection and the inventory of the Gerhard Richter Art Foundation, supplemented with loans from international museums and other private collections. The three different themes are represented in three different rooms in the Albertinum, and include works such as the small-format Self-portrait (836-1) from 1996 and Abstract Painting (952-4) from 2017.
In Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie, around the same time, the museum’s Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) will present the first major survey exhibition of Richter’s artist’s books, drawing on works from the museum itself, plus more from the Kupferstichkabinett, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State Art Collections) and the Walther und Franz König art book publisher in Cologne.
More specifically, the books will be presented together with prints and complemented by the large abstract painting Atelier from the Nationalgalerie collection, as well as numerous of Richter’s publications that can be leafed through and read. Special and limited editions as well as preliminary designs and letters from Dresden’s Gerhard Richter Archive round off the exhibits.
As with the Dresden show, this one in Berlin is split into a trio of themes: “Image of the Artist” explores how Richter stages himself as the creator of his paintings and makes use of parody, masquerade and play; “Image of Photography” shows the photographic reproductions of his paintings; “The Image of Chance” underscores the interplay of calculation and chance in Gerhard Richter’s work, for which he draws inspiration from the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich.