The 4 massive canvases of the Birkenau sequence are summary work with many grey and black surfaces, but in addition some crimson and inexperienced dashes.
The premise of the work are 4 images 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 technique of abstraction was based mostly on his conviction that he couldn’t do justice to the incomprehensible horror of the Holocaust with direct depiction.
Through 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 in addition guests who thus turn out to be 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 accountability throughout the time of Nazis and your place on the Holocaust,” mentioned 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 a long time wherein he has repeatedly explored the chances and limits of portray in addition to the strain 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 will probably be transferred to the Museum of the twentieth Century that’s at the moment 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,” mentioned Klaus Biesenbach, the director of the Neue Nationalgalerie.
Biesenbach added that the present gallery is “a bit smaller than it is going to be within the new constructing, nevertheless it’s as advanced and as multi-faceted.”
Till the opening of the brand new museum, the works will probably be introduced on the Neue Nationalgalerie. Not all 100 will probably be on show on the identical time, they are going to be rotated.
Alongside the “Birkenau” sequence, there are at the moment a number of different works from numerous 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 coloration squares.
The exhibition was realized in shut collaboration with the artist, the museum mentioned.