230209: Albertina: Gerhard Richter – Retrospective

Albertina: Gerhard Richter – Retrospective Gerhard Richter: Profession: Painter Gerhard Richter’s works haven’t been exhibited in Vienna for the past 22 years and are now presented at the Albertina in a somewhat conglomerated and incoherent form. Originally the show only encompassed paintings from the Baden-Baden based Burda Museum’s private collections. In Vienna the show was supplemented with additional works - both from private collectors, as well as from the artist himself. And to top it off, Barbara Steffen conceptualized a kind of exhibit within the exhibit, presenting rarely displayed aquarelles, drawings, oil on paper works, and 31 monotypes. The resultant diversity begins with Richter’s frequently cited statement (1966): “I don’t deliberately follow any intention, any system, any direction, I don’t have any program, any style, any purpose.” The exhibition organizers must have based their compilation on similar ideas. Richter’s painting titled “Family at the seaside” proves his fascinating paintbrush control and outstanding capability to catch the summer sunlight with such reduced colours as gray, black, and white. Apart from his motifs, Richter’s works could easily be related to those of Titian, Vermeer, or Caspar David Friedrich. But the danger of being seen as a traditionalist lead Richter to create his own aesthetics; these allowed him to link romantic traditions and Baroque facets with his own achievements. He was able to paint landscapes, whose high horizons remind of 17th century Dutch paintings, and romantic depictions of people remind of Caspar David Friedrich. But there is one thing this Richter-Retrospective lacks: his works dealing with social issues. The artist, who always rejected ideological interpretations – something he ascribed to his childhood experience during the Nazi regime and growing up under GDR-Socialism - created disturbing paintings of corpses of Stammheim prisoners, which are not shown in this exhibit. All in all, the show is an attempt to learn more about the phenomenon Richter and to bring it closer to a broad audience. By Susanne Rohringer Albertina 1010 Vienna, Albertinaplatz 1, until 03.05.09 www.albertina.at

1010 Wien, Albertinaplatz 1
Tel: +43 1 534 83 -0, Fax: +43 1 533 76 97
Email: info@albertina.at
Öffnungszeiten: Tägl. 10-18h, Mi 10-21 h

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