Gerhard Richter is one of the most influential German painters. He has been highly acclaimed for his photo-based painting and experiments in abstraction. His first grand solo exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo features 122 works. It covers oil paintings, photographs, digital prints, glass and mirrors. I was really excited about seeing them.
"Birkenau" consists of four enormous paintings matched with their photograph versions in exactly the same size and a large horizontal mirror work, "Grey Mirror". Although apparently abstract paintings, hidden underneath are layers of images that were coped from photographs taken by a prisoner at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
*Birkenau is one of the Auschwitz concentration camps which produced a large number of victims.
In the section on overpainted photographs, you will see his brilliant technique in applying oil or other media to photographs.
In abstract paintings, Richter used a large squeegee in order to smudge several thick layers of oil paint across canvas to create deeply textured mixes of color.
According to a leaflet, "Richter has consistently tried presenting the principle of how we see and perceive objects, moving back and forth between representation and abstraction using a variety of materials such as oil paintings, photographs, digital prints, glass and mirrors."
Among them, "Aladdin" attracted my attention. Aladdin is a series of glass paintings, in which several colors of lacquer are applied to a panel. the surface is completely smooth. The size and color are perfect to my room!