Gerhard Richter may have given up painting in 2018, but not art. He still draws, but exclusively with pencil and wax crayon instead of with a paintbrush. He also now prefers small formats. Indisputably one of the most important artists of our time, Richter no longer has anything to prove.
Gerhard Richter – he doesn’t care much about the hype about himself
As the most highly regarded living painter, Gerhard Richter has had plenty of superlatives applied to him. His “Abstract Painting” was auctioned in London in 2015 for the record sum of 41 million euros.
Born in Dresden in 1932, Richter left the former GDR in 1961 and went to study at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. He became known to a broad public primarily through his photographic images in the early 1960s and his abstract paintings. To date, his output comprises more than 30,000 works. But Gerhard Richter himself simply shrugs at his reputation in the art world. In fact, he talks about the hype around him and his art – hype which he finds repugnant.
With this action, Gerhard Richter caused a sensation in Dresden
On the other hand, he comments on his popularity with extremely self-deprecating actions. In December 1986, Richter visited his home-town Dresden for the first time in 26 years. His ap-pearance at the exhibition, which was part of the German cultural agreement between East and West, caused a sensation. Artists from the Federal Republic and the former GDR had painted a collaborative piece of work. Richter, who was the last to draw his brushstrokes on the work in front of TV cameras from both sides, could not help but give the art happening his own personal punch line: he placed his signature across the entire painting.
Getting a picture, having a view, makes us human – art is giving meaning, shaping meaning, like seeking God and religion.Gerhard Richter, Notes 1962
But leaving this act aside, for a change, Richter is rather considered extremely modest and ex-tremely self-critical. Which is also why he has successfully turned down any plans for museums dedicated to his art exclusively to this day.
Albertinum shows works by Richter until the end of April
At the Albertinum’s special exhibition, the Gerhard Richter Archive of the Dresden State Art Collections has nevertheless been receiving support from the master. For some years now, two rooms have been reserved for Richter’s latest works. For the show curated by Richter on the occasion of his 90th birthday, his artwork will be shown in three rooms for the first time.
The exhibits include paintings from the artist’s private collection, from national and interna-tional galleries as well as rarely exhibited paintings from the Gerhard Richter Foundation. The loans include a self-portrait from the Museum of Modern Art in New York as well as family portraits including, for example, Richter’s daughters Betty and Ella.