THE GREAT ABSTRACTION
6 February – 29 May 2016
The exhibition focusses on abstract works by Gerhard Richter, including famous pictures such as “10 Farbtafeln“, “Wellblech”, “Vorhang” and “Sternbild”. The highlight of the show is Richter’s group of four “Abstrakte Bilder (WZ 937 1-4)“, which were not created until 2014 and are based on photographs taken in 1944 in Birkenau concentration camp.
The focal point of Gerhard Richter’s painting strategy is emphasised by works by other well-known artists. Most of these belong to the circle of Galerie Konrad Fischer, with which Richter had a lively exchange in the 1960s. Hence, the exhibition displays abstract masterpieces by Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Blinky Palermo or Sigmar Polke. Yet artists such as Gotthard Graubner, Clyfford Still, Willem de Kooning and others also highlight the great potential of abstraction as a form of pictorial expression.
The selection of works addresses the question of how contemporary artists use abstraction to realise their artistic ideas and record the “indescribable” or portray the “unportrayable”. The exhibition also looks at our perception and our emotions, as triggered simply by forms and colours and going beyond the depiction of objects that exist in reality.
Many of the most beautiful and moving creations in painting in the 20th century are rooted in an abstraction with which they portray our “world”. The title “The Great Abstraction” stems from Wassily Kandinsky, who meant by it a form of depiction that is closer to music than anything else and contrasts sharply with the “Great Realism”.
Works loaned from international collections and museums complement the exhibits from the Collection Frieder Burda.