Gerhard Richter Permanently Loans 100 Works to Berlin Museum – ARTnews.com

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Although Gerhard Richter’s blockbuster exhibition at the Met Breuer in New York closed after just nine days at the start of the pandemic, fans of the artists might be interested to learn that 100 of his works—including ones on view in that survey—will get a permanent home at a not-yet-built Berlin museum.

On Monday, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, a consortium of museums in the German capital, revealed that the artist’s foundation plans to permanently loan the works to the Museum of the 20th Century, a Herzog & de Meuron–designed institution that is still under construction. An opening date for that $500 million museum has not yet been revealed; ground was broken for its construction in 2019.

Included in the loan is Richter’s four-part series “Birkenau” (2014), whose title refers to a World War II–era concentration camp. The dark, foreboding paintings based on photographs of the camp are abstract, and Richter made them using a squeegee that pulled paint across his canvases.

Richter, who has vowed never to allow these paintings to enter the market, previously showed them at the Bundestag, and in 2020, they appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On Tuesday, they went on view in a presentation at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, where they appear alongside the photographs upon which they are based. “I am delighted the paintings are coming to Berlin,” Richter said in a statement.

Also included in the loan, which is expected to go into effect in 2023, are recent abstractions. These works and others from the loan will be showcased in a special gallery set aside for Richter’s art in the Museum of the 20th Century.


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