This weekend sees the opening of GOMA's latest blockbuster 'Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images'. The exhibition includes Richter's abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and glass pieces. His art follows examples of Picasso and Jean Arp in undermining the concept of the artist's obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.
The exhibition was curated by Dr Rosemary Hawker, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Griffith University and Geraldine Kirrihi Barlow, Curatorial Manager, International Art, QAGOMA with input from Gerhard Richter himself.
Opening weekend (14-15 October 2017) highlights include a conversation between Dr Rosemary Hawker and Dr Dietmar Elger, Director, Gerhard Richter Archive, Dresden, discussing Elger’s role managing the archive of one of the world's most successful and influential living artists; a floor-talk inside the exhibition with Stefan Gronert, Curator of Photography and Media, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany, and Geraldine Kirrihi Barlow; and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima performed by the Canticum Chamber Choir.
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director, Chris Saines said ‘Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images’ featured intimate family portraits, large-scale abstracts and tapestries, exquisite landscapes, a new and extensive overview of the artist’s life-long archival project Atlas, and the major four-part abstract series, Birkenau 2014.
‘In addition to key works from the artist’s personal collection, and pre-eminent public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; TATE, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; SFMOMA, San Francisco; and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, it features loans from numerous private collections in Europe and the USA,’ Mr Saines said.
‘The exhibition reveals the scope of Gerhard Richter’s extraordinary output across six decades and captures the breadth and technical virtuosity of a creative practice operating between the twin poles of realism and abstraction.
‘Audiences will see Richter’s responses to some of modern history’s pivotal events such as World War Two, the horror of the Holocaust and the creation of a divided post-war Germany, all of which coincided with the rapid ascendancy of the mechanically reproduced image.
‘Through the artworks we encounter Richter’s endless variation of technique and inventiveness as a painter.’
'Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images' will be on display at GOMA until 4 February 2018.
Gerhard Richter, I.G.(790-3), 1993. Oil on canvas, 82 x 92cm. "La Caixa" Collection, Contemporary Art. Barcelona, Spain © Gerhard Richter 2017.