BERLIN (AP) — A brand new present of works by one in every of Germany’s most well-known residing artists, Gerhard Richter, opened at Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie museum on Friday.

“Gerhard Richter. 100 Works for Berlin” exhibits for the primary time the long-term mortgage from the artist’s basis. On the heart of the exhibition is Richter’s 2014 collection “Birkenau,” the results of the artist’s decades-long engagement with Germany’s Nazi previous and the Holocaust.

The 4 giant canvases of the Birkenau collection are summary work with many grey and black surfaces, but additionally some crimson and inexperienced dashes.

The premise of the work are 4 photographs secretly taken in 1944 by Jewish prisoners on the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, who risked their lives doing so. Richter transferred the 4 images with charcoal and oil onto the canvas after which progressively painted over them with oil paint till their content material was not seen.

Richter’s strategy of abstraction was based mostly on his conviction that he couldn’t do justice to the incomprehensible horror of the Holocaust with direct depiction.

In the course of the Holocaust, the Nazis and their henchmen murdered 6 million European Jews.

Within the gallery throughout from the Birkenau work is a big mirror which not solely displays the 4 works, but additionally guests who thus develop into a part of the set up.

“I believe that’s what makes this work so central and so intense, that you simply as a customer are actually questioned about your duty in the course of the time of Nazis and your place on the Holocaust,” stated Maike Steinkamp, the curator of the exhibition.

“Richter doesn’t give us an evaluation, however permits us as viewers to type our personal opinion,” Steinkamp added.

Richter, who’s 91, lives within the western metropolis of Cologne. His oeuvre spans six many years through which he has repeatedly explored the probabilities and limits of portray in addition to the stress between abstraction and figuration.

In 2021, the Gerhard Richter Basis dedicated a complete of 100 artworks to the gathering of the Nationalgalerie as a everlasting mortgage which can be transferred to the Museum of the twentieth Century that’s at present being construct subsequent door and set to be accomplished in 2026.

“We’re constructing a particular exhibition room for the long run mortgage for Gerhard Richter within the new constructing,” stated Klaus Biesenbach, the director of the Neue Nationalgalerie.

Biesenbach added that the present gallery is “a bit smaller than will probably be within the new constructing, but it surely’s as advanced and as multi-faceted.”

Till the opening of the brand new museum, the works can be introduced on the Neue Nationalgalerie. Not all 100 can be on show on the similar time, they are going to be rotated.

Alongside the “Birkenau” collection, there are at present a number of different works from varied phases of Richter’s profession together with a big group of overpainted images.

There’s additionally “4900 Colors” from 2007, which consists of 196 particular person sq. panels, every of which is subdivided into 25 colour squares.

The exhibition was realized in shut collaboration with the artist, the museum stated.

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