The Gerhard Richter Kunststiftung has given 100 works to the Nationalgalerie on permanent loan. Beginning in March 2023, the Neue Nationalgalerie will put this loan on display in its entirety for the first time.
The central work in the exhibition is the series Birkenau (2014), consisting of four large-format, abstract paintings. Birkenau is the result of Richter’s long and in-depth engagement with the Holocaust and the possibilities of representing it. The works are based on four photographs taken in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, which the artist transposed to four canvases before gradually painting over them. With each layer of paint, the depiction of the photographic original disappeared a little more, until it eventually became invisible. The work also includes a large four-part mirror, which is positioned opposite the four Birkenau canvases, creating another level of reflection.
Alongside the Birkenau series, other loaned works from various phases of Richter’s career will be exhibited, among them Squatters’ House (1989) and 6 Standing Panes (2002). There is also another large group of works from Richter’s striking series of overpainted photographs.
A special exhibition of the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
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