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Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter survey at the Tate Gallery

Nick Serota launches into a new policy towards international contemporary art

Director Nicholas Serota launches a new policy initiative towards international contemporary art, for too long ignored in the Tate Gallery’s exhibition schedule, when his survey of paintings by Gerhard Richter opens at the end of this month (30 October to 12 January 1992). Developed in two visits which he made to the artist’s studio in Cologne with his curator, Sean Rainbird, in February of this year, the exhibition spreads over Richter’s working career of thirty years and comprises sixty pictures, many of which were not shown in Chicago and Toronto in 1988. In other respects, the Tate Gallery’s approach differs from that North American exhibition. It includes smaller and more experimental paintings among the major canvases, the chamber music and the symphonies, as Rainbird describes it; and it is strong in works created in the last three years when Richter’s abstraction has adopted a more emotive content. Among these recent pictures are the four “Forest” paintings created for “Metropolis” in Berlin and shown at Durand-Dessert’s new gallery in Paris in September, a vast Black painting, seven metres in length, which was commissioned by the University of St Gallen in Switzerland, and the diptych which the Tate Gallery acquired from Anthony d’Offay’s spring exhibition. Negotiations continue for the purchase of the portrait of Betty, the artist’s daughter, which was the last figurative picture completed by Richter.

The fifteen Red Army Faction paintings, shown at the ICA in 1989 and just installed at the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, are not included, nor are the nude and pornographic portraits from 1966-67.