City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past exhibition

Gerhard Richter: Survey

12 October–1 December 2002

ORGANISER Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) OTHER VENUES IFA, Stuttgart, Germany, 22 September–5 November 2000; Listasafn Islands (National Gallery of Iceland), Reykjavík, Iceland, 20 January–18 February 2001; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark, 7 April–27 May 2001; Silapakorn University Art Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand, 23 July–10 August 2001; National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 14 September–14 October 2001; I See Imaging Center, Jakarta, Indonesia, 21 January–4 February 2002; Soemardja Gallery, Bandung, Indonesia, 18 February–9 March 2002; RMIT-Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, 24 April–8 June 2002; Sydney Institute, Sydney, Australia, 1 August–6 September 2002; Tokushima Prefectural Museum, Tokushima, Japan, 1 February–23 March 2003; Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan, 5 April–18 May 2003; Daelim Museum, Seoul, South Korea, 1–31 July 2003; Creation Art Gallery, Beijing, China, 14–29 February 2004; National Art Museum, Hanoi, Vietnam, 19 March–4 April 2004; Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran, 11 May –2 July 2004; Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland, 16 September–14 November 2004; Muncipal Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia, 16 December 2004–31 January 2005; House of Art, Brno, Czech Republic, 8 February–20 March 2005; Office for Art Exhibitions, Katowice, Poland, 15 April–22 May 2005; Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary, 9 June–7 August 2005; Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland, 3 September–16 October 2005; Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, Poland, 18 November 2005–22 January 2006; Kaliningrad State Art Gallery, Kaliningrad, Russia, 23 March–30 April 2006; State Museum of City Sculpture, St. Petersburg, Russia, 30 May–28 June 2006; National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia, 7 July–4 August 2006; Museum of Russian Art, Kiev, Ukraine, 4–29 December 2006; Art Gallery of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 2 March–1 April 2007; Tbilisi History Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2–19 May 2007; Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland, 3 July–7 October 2007; Umjetnički Paviljon u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Croatia, 17 November–9 December 2007; Galerija Likovnih Imjetnosti, Osijek, Croatia, 14 December 2007–27 January 2008; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania, 4 April–11 May 2008; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia, 6 June–17 August 2008; Espacio Contemporáneo de Arte (ECA), Mendoza, Argentina, 3–26 April 2009; Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Dr. Genaro Pérez, Córdoba, Argentina, 8–31 May 2009; Centro Cultural José Amadeo Conte Grand, San Juan, Argentina, 5–28 June 2009; Centro Cultural Parque de Espana, Rosario, Argentina, 8 July–9 August 2009; Museo Nacional de Arte, La Paz, Bolivia, 15 October–13 November 2009; Museo de Artes Visuales, Santiago, Chile, 10 December 2009–21 February 2010; Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay, 25 March–9 May 2010; Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 11 June–25 July 2010; Casa Andrade Muricy, Curitiba, Brazil, 21 October 2010–27 February 2011; Caixa Cultural Salvador, Salvador, Brazil, 15 March–24 April 2011; Caixa Cultural Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil, 5 May–12 June 2011; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 23 July–21 August 2011; Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul Ado Malagoli, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 15 December 2011–26 February 2012; Museo de la Ciudad, Quito, Ecuador, 14 April–24 June 2012; Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango del Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia, 9 August–8 October 2012; Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru, 15 November 2012–24 February 2013; Centro de las Artes, San Luis Potosí, Mexico, 2 May–23 June 2013 PUBLICATION essays Götz Adriani, Dieter Schwarz, Ursula Zeller

Gerhard Richter: Survey is less a blockbuster, full of masterpieces; more a sampler, featuring smaller works. For this international epic-touring show, the German exhibition agency Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) asked the German painter to select a group of works to represent his work's evolution from the 1960s to the 1990s. In the catalogue, Götz Adriani explains that his selection was constrained by the restrictions of lengthy touring. Before Wellington, the show had already been to Iceland, Denmark, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia.

Richter was brought up in Dresden and his work developed out of East German social realism. Escaping to the West, he settled in Dusseldorf in 1961, just months before the construction of the Berlin Wall. His work went on to engage with and absorb other art movements, including art informel and pop art.

Richter has always been reluctant to align with any one style or approach, but painting itself remains central to his thinking. Over decades, he interrogates painting in ever new ways, questioning the relationship between subject and treatment. American critic Rosalind Krauss says Richter’s work presents the viewer with an extraordinary thought experiment: How would Western culture appear to someone from Mars?

The show ranges from Richter’s photorealist paintings to his abstracts. The relationship of painting and photography is a key theme. There are paintings based on photographs, such as Betty (1988)—though the version in the show is an offset print of the painting. There are other photos of paintings—including 128 Photographs from a Picture (1998). And there are paintings on photos.

Richter scholar Martin Schmid attends the opening and gives a lecture, ‘What Should I Paint? How Should I Paint?’

Gerrit Bretzler, Director of the Goethe-Institut in Wellington, is concerned by the lack of media coverage for the show and criticises the Gallery for a lack of marketing and public programmes. He sends an open letter to the Gallery conveying his disappointment. The Gallery answer his concerns in an article in the Dominion Post, mentioning that visitation has exceeded expectations.