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03 Aug 2017

Gerhard Richter

National Gallery in Prague, Kinsky Palace

Reviewed by Vera Wilde

The force of Gerhard Richter's effort "to paint a picture of what I have seen and what moved me, as well as I can" shines out in the variety of genres, emotions, and points on the continuum between expressive process and fine art product that he has embraced over a long career.

The exhibit spans National Gallery venues. In the Kinský Palace, Richter's oeuvre impresses most when he celebrates instead of mourns. His gray monochromes ostensibly reference the misery and indifference of concentration camps. But it's his portraits - especially Ema (Nude on a staircase) (1992) and Betty (1997) - that move one with their studied care.

In the nearby Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia, Richter's 13th century predecessors use light and stone to invite existential seeking. Although his Holocaust remembrance object and paintings here measure large, the space upstages them. Featuring some of his sombre still lives here instead (Skull, 1983 or Candle, 1982) would have better represented his work.

Exhibition Gerhard Richter link
Start date 26 Apr 2017
End date 03 Sep 2017
Presenter National Gallery in Prague link
Venue Kinsky Palace, Staroměstské náměstí 12, Prague, CZE link map
Image Gerhard Richter, Ema (Nude on a Staircase), 1966, oil on canvas, 200 x 130 cm, collection of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, courtesy of the National Gallery in Prague

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