The internationally acclaimed artist celebrated his 85th birthday on February 9, 2017. Museum Folkwang presents from April 2017 all of Gerhard Richter’s editions created since 1965.
Works conceived as editions – including prints, photographs, objects, paintings and much more – form an important part of Gerhard Richter’s highly diverse oeuvre. The exhibition is the first to present the full range of what are now over 170 editions by the artist, bringing together some of his most famous themes with many rarely exhibited works.
Gerhard Richter. The Editions. provides an overview of his artistic output to date, which now spans over five decades. Richter has been using editions both to reinterpret and disseminate his art since the 1960s. Even his early prints reveal how the artist formulated questions he was addressing in his painterly practice in new ways in his editions, namely questions concerning the relationship between original and reproduction, or the properties of painting and photography, as well as the readability of his themes.Richter’s use of different printing techniques and stylistic painterly devices stands out for its great openness and his eagerness to experiment. He has also continually questioned his self-conception as an artist: “Sometimes I feel that I should not call myself a painter but a producer of images. I’m more interested in images than in painting.” Likewise, in his editions Richter experimented with painting, creating so-called unique works in series. His work group Vermalung (grau) of 1971 consists of 120 small paintings which Richter painted as one, before taking them apart and selling them as individual works.
The tour of the exhibition includes altogether 14 sections. These are opened by the gallery titled “Prints 1965 – 1970”, which resumes Richter’s early editions and provides at the same time a reminder of the artist’s first museum show of the same title, held at Museum Folkwang in 1970. Further aspects of his editions are presented under the titles of Image Material, Surfaces, Landscapes, Colour Fields, the Human Image, Unique Pieces in Series and Abstract Works.
The exhibition is being staged in close cooperation with the Olbricht Collection.