press release

Gerhard Richter's monumental, encyclopedic work Atlas, will be exhibited in full, for the first time in the United States, at Dia Center for the Arts, opening April 27, 1995. Atlas is an ongoing work that Richter began in 1962 when he decided to put together photographs that had been or could become pictorial sources for his paintings or that have otherwise engaged him. The piece currently comprises some 3,700-3,800 images: reproductions, documentary photographs and photojournalism, together with photographs taken by the artist himself. These are grouped together in over 600 separate panels installed in rigorous formations.

This "archive" bears witness to the fusion between Richter's paintings and photography since 1962; and to his fascination with, and analysis of, contemporary languages of representation and their functions. It also examines collage/montage aesthetics and the role of photography in relation to the traditional categories of the fine arts, especially painting. Among the different genres of images found in Atlas are amateur family photographs, casual snap-shots, portraits, gestural and geometric abstractions, vegetation, cityscapes, still-life studies, and layouts for installations of the artist's work.

When Atlas was first exhibited in 1972 at the Museum for Hedendaagse Kunst in Utrecht under the title "Atlas der Fotos und Skizzen," it included 315 parts. The work has continued to expand, and was exhibited most recently in full form at the Lenbachhaus in Munich in 1989 and at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 1990.

Born in 1932 in Dresden, Germany, Gerhard Richter moved to Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1961. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, including a recent retrospective which toured to ARC, Musée de la Ville de Paris, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. He has also participated in many major survey exhibitions of contemporary art including the 1992 Biennale of Sydney, Documenta VIII and Documenta IX, Kassel, in 1987 and 1992, and is the recipient of the Junger Western Art Prize, Recklinghausen (1967), the Arnold Bode Prize, Kassel (1981) and the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Vienna (1985).

This exhibition will continue to be on view at Dia Center for the Arts, 548 West 22nd Street through the Spring of 1996.

only in german

Gerhard Richter: Atlas
Kurator: Rainald Schumacher