Reflections on a modern art museum

A snippet of the Gerhard Richter exhibit in the Neue Nationalgalerie and the 19th-century St. Matthäuskirche:

 

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An embarrassment of Richters

Last week, I finally made it over to the Neue Nationalgalerie to check out an exhibit of the paintings of Gerhard Richter, Germany’s most important living painter by a pretty wide margin. The exhibit’s gotten rave reviews — and hours-long lines outside the museum on weekends.

Now, I’m no expert on Richter, or on painting in general, but I’ll attempt to give you, dear reader, an annotated tour of the exhibit, in the off-chance you’re not able to visit the Neue Nationalgalerie yourself in the next couple of months.

Richter has an unbelievably diverse array of styles that, to my uninformed eye, play on three central contrasts: abstractness vs. realism, clarity vs. blurriness, and color vs. gray. I’ll tackle these one by one.

Abstractness:

vs. realism:

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