Ema (Nude on a staircase) (Ema, Akt auf einer Treppe)
Gerhard Richter will be one of the artists that represents the time we live in. His name will never be forgotten in our history of art, as the retrospective at the Tate Modern proves to us. It takes us chronologically through his life as a painter. As beautiful as that might sound, I think that after having seen Richter's work quite many times at different locations, I found myself feeling that something was missing. I walked through the exhibition a bit restless, having a hard time taking in the impressions. Realizing, after a while that I found the chronological placement of his work disruptive. Since he is working with so many different styles, I think this could have been a great opportunity to show the paintings that sort of related to each other collectively. As an example; I wish that the Hyper- realistic paintings would hang together, the paintings of his daughter, of his wives and the nature paintings. Instead the rooms fluctated between the abstract to the realistic in an interruptive way.
Except, for the Cage Paintings that was on view earlier this year as well (in a different location at the Tate) and the Baader Meinhof paintings.
Maybe that is why the series in Room 9 "18 October 1977" hit me the hardest this time around. Although Richter did not express sympathy for the group's politic's he spoke about his sorrow for their fates, and that their ideologies had led to their deaths, the Tate writes.
"The Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader Meinhof group, was active in the late 1960's and 1970's. Connected to other radical movements emerging throughout Europe after 1968, its members were in part motivated by the perception that a number of former Nazis continued to hold positions of power. Increasingly violent terrorist activities were followed by the leaders' arrests and trials as well as failed plots by breakaway groups to free them."
Youth Portrait (Jugendbildnis)
Confrontation 3 (Gegenuberstellung 3)
The groups suicides after their capture has been questioned, could it possibly have been a state-organized killing? The photos are dark, mysterious and poetic, but not in any way glamorizing their deaths.
Although I have my hesitations about the placement of the paintings, it is still one of the best exhibits in London at the moment, so if you do have a chance to she the retrospective of this legendary artist, please do. "Panorama" continues until the 8th of January 2012.