Gerhard Richter (*1932 in Dresden) is one of the most significant contemporary artists. His work covers a period of more than five decades. On the occasion of his 85th birthday, the Gerhard Richter Archive of the Dresden State Art Collections is holding an exhibition from May 20 to August 27, 2017 with new paintings by the artist. Initially, most of his works were already exhibited in Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Now the 24 paintings, supplemented with seven recently in 2017 created works, will be exhibited in the Albertinum.
The new “Abstrakten Bilder” [Abstract Paintings] since 2015 are strikingly different from the work created before, with its reserved and delicately modulated surfaces. The 31 paintings in total tie in with the works from the late 1980s and impress with their vibrant and fragmented multitude of colouration. In addition to his brush and squeegee, Richter also uses a knife to scratch animated traces into the surface of the image and reveals the multiple layers of oil paint by stripping it all the way back to the layers underneath. This process reminds us of the “Abstrakten Bilder” [Abstract Paintings] created around 1990. However, Richter no longer uses the knife in parallel, vertical tracks, instead, he uses free, gestural movements across the canvas. These works differ from all the other “Abstrakten Bilder” [Abstract Paintings] in their pictorial gesture and signify a new dynamic pictorial beginning.
Gerhard Richter is connected to the Dresden State Art Collections and his birthplace of Dresden in a unique way through the archive, which was founded here and named after him. The artist repeatedly expresses this connection with special exhibitions. An extensive group of new STRIP paintings and works behind glass already had their premiere here in Dresden in 2013. Two years later, Gerhard Richter was presenting his Birkenau cycle in the Albertinum to the public for the first time.