Gerhard Richter
The Life of Images

14 Oct 2017 – 4 Feb 2018
GOMA | Gallery 1.1 The Fairfax Gallery, GOMA Foyer | Ticketed

'Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images' is an unmissable show' — The Conversation

'...the exhibition itself is a standout for both its rigour and range of work' — The Guardian

For more than fifty years, Gerhard Richter has proven his remarkable command of almost every style and genre of painting. From tender personal portraits to visceral overpainted photographs, romantic landscapes to monumental abstracts, this exhibition gives a detailed insight into the work of one of the world’s most influential living artists.

Exclusive to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, ‘Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images’ is the German artist’s first major Australian exhibition, with loans from public and private collections in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, including the artist’s own collection.

Exploring Richter’s endless capacity to shift form, this unprecedented exhibition is a testament to his technical virtuosity, rigorous work practices and unparalleled influence on contemporary art.

Among the artworks are the iconic portraits Reader (804) 1994 and Ella (903-1) 2007, still-life paintings including Two candles (499-4) 1982 and Orchid (848-9) 1997, and the evocative landscape Meadowland (572-4) 1985. The four panels of Birkenau (937-1–4) 2014, monumental abstracts painted over chilling photographic images taken in Nazi extermination camps, grapple with the national and global trauma of the Holocaust.

The exhibition  is built along the spine of a long room devoted to ATLAS Overview, an extensive 400-panel extract from Richter’s encyclopaedic archival project ATLAS 1962-ongoing, a collection of photographs, sketches, collages and cuttings that he has drawn on for his paintings throughout his career. ATLAS reflects Richter’s deep interest in the currency of images, and the artist has personally nominated and arranged the selection of images on display at GOMA.

Looking for greater insight into Richter’s creative process? Every Sunday throughout the exhibition see either Michael Blackwood's Gerhard Richter: 4 Decades 2002 or Corinna Belz's Gerhard Richter – Painting 2011 at the Gallery’s Cinémathèque.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Rosemary Hawker, Senior Lecturer in Art Theory, Fine Art, Griffith University, with Geraldine Kirrihi Barlow, Curatorial Manager, International Art, QAGOMA, in consultation with the artist and his studio.

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Gerhard Richter, Reader (804) 1994

Gerhard Richter, Germany b.1932 / Reader (804) 1994 / Oil on canvas / Collection: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / © Gerhard Richter 2016.


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Funding for insurance has also been provided through the Queensland Government Exhibition Indemnification Scheme, administered by Arts Queensland.

Works in this exhibition are protected under the Australian Government’s Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013. Find out more

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