Next Spring, for the first time, the Musée de Grenoble will present all the works by Gerhard Richter held in French public collections. Over the course of the last 25 years, French institutions have acquired several works by the artist, making him the best represented contemporary German painter in French public collections. The exhibition Richter en France offers an unprecedented approach to his working process throughout this ensemble.
If the work of Gerhard Richter is internationally recognised today as being of the highest order, for many decades this was not the case. In fact, for a long time Richter’s method appeared puzzling, in that the artist delighted in developing different styles, going from “photo-realist” paintings to others likely to be compared to different strains of abstraction, and from concrete art to gestural painting. It wasn’t until the end of the 80s, or nearly 25 years after his first works, that the evidence of his exploration of all the possibilities of painting was confirmed as remarkable; a totally new artistic experience.
In France, a large number of public institutions were very opportunely interested in Gerhard Richter’s work and acquired his works early on, beginning in 1980, with the National Museum of Modern Art / the Pompidou Center and Musée de Toulon. This ensemble of works allows us to retrace the development of the artist, from his first realist works of the 60s to his experiments in monochrome in the 70s, and his large abstract paintings at the end of the 80s.
The exhibition Richter en France brings together nearly 40 works from the National Fund for Contemporary Art, from three regional contemporary art funds and from six museums.
Richter en France, Editions Actes Sud.
Texts by Jean-Pierre Criqui, art historian and critic, Jonas Storsve, conservator at the Cabinet d’arts graphiques , National Museum of Modern Art / the Pompidou Center and Guy Tossato. Contents in French and English. 40 colour illustrations.