On the occasion of a large retrospective in London, Berlin, and Paris several works by Gerhard Richter (*1932 Dresden) from the collection of the Museum Ludwig were on loan for an extended period of time. Now the museum is exhibiting its holdings again, including Richter's famous painting Ema - Nude on a Staircase and 48 Portraits, with which Richter was represented in the German Pavillion at the Venice Biennale in 1972.
The works from the museum's collection will be supplemented by the two graphic cycles Elbe and November as well as by additional loans from the artist and private collectors.
In the print series Elbe, the layers of the picture are concentrated through the application of successive coats of ink with a rubber roller, thus creating the impression of an unfathomable depth. Upon leaving East Germany in 1961 the artist entrusted the prints to a friend. When they resurfaced following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Richter was struck that some of the elements hinted at in them had in the meantime been pursued further in his abstract works of the 1980s.
Appearing like a counterpart to Elbe is the series November. With these twenty-seven prints Richter experimented with ink on highly absorbent paper. As the ink permeated through each of the sheets, it created two corresponding images, one on the front and one on the back.
The presentation offers a concentrated overview of the multifaceted oeuvre of Gerhard Richter, who lives and works in Cologne.