Gerhard Richter: Painting as Mirror

2005.9.3(Sat.) - 2005.10.26(Wed.)



2005.9.3(Sat.) - 2005.10.26(Wed.)


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Gerhard Richter is one of the most important artists of our time. This solo-exhibition will show Richter’s works from the past forty years of his artistic career, since the 1960s. This is the first time in Japan to have an exhibition showing more than fifty major works of Richter, including the ones loaned by the artist himself.

Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden, in former East Germany, in 1932. He moved to Düsseldorf, in former West Germany, right before the Berlin Wall was erected to separate his country. He now lives in Cologne. In 2002, he had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and a solo exhibition in Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen at the beginning of 2005, which had as many as 110,000 visitors. Richter is considered to be one of the most important artists in the world.

Richter has an astonishing variety of artistic styles: Photo-Painting, where he precisely reproduces photographic images from newspapers and magazines and gives the finishing touch of a delicate blur, the Colour Chart Series, geometric arrangements of square and rectangular colourful chips, the Grey Painting Series and Landscapes that remind us of German Romantic paintings, Abstract Paintings with vibrant colour combinations, and works that use transparent and painted glass and mirrors.

These works seem to be incompatible as far as common artistic goals. They, however, have in common Richter’s consistent philosophy to pursue potential in paintings. Through his original two-dimensional works that blur the borders between “photography and paintings,” “figurative and abstract,” “reality and virtual reality,” Richter continues his pursuit of “vision.” His works can be perceived as “mirrors” to reflect upon our world where reality and image are equally present in our contemporary life dominated by media such as the Internet.

Most of the works in this exhibition will be shown in Japan for the first time, including six new oil paintings. This will give us a very good opportunity to explore different aspects of Richter’s art, which continues to evolve.

*exclusive site