Gerhard Richter’s paintings from the 1960s are inexplicably disturbing. They show a single moment in time – but one that remains enigmatic. These moments appear to be snapshots taken at random; however they were frequently inspired by sensational photo documentaries about impostors, poisoners or shipwrecks. Richter also picked up on the ideals of this period based on the happiness promised by Germany’s economic miracle in the 1960s as reflected in advertisements and in magazines: fast cars, exotic travel destinations and glamorous film stars.
In his works based on photos, Richter isolated motifs from photo spreads in magazines like Stern and Quick and enlarged them to painting size. From these magazine photos, which had an enormous impact in that period of few television and other images, Richter created paintings of an entire era. Like Warhol and Lichtenstein, he also showed trivial everyday objects. He freed painting of its traditional standards. Gerhard Richter’s work appears as a rebirth of painting out of the spirit of Pop Art and Fluxus. Its aim is to exact a dimension of memory from specific period elements. Curated by Uwe M. Schneede, this exhibition brings together 50 loans from 25 German and international collections including the cycle October 18, 1977 from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which recalls the traumatic events of the German Autumn in late 1977.