On 9 February 2022 Gerhard Richter (*1932) celebrates his ninetieth birthday. Richter is one of today’s most influential artists.
He grew up in Dresden and attended the art academy there. After fleeing East Germany, he went to the Düsseldorf Art Academy, where he held a professorship in painting from 1971 to 1993. He lives in Cologne. More than 4,000 works comprise his oeuvre. His fascinating pictorial worlds are characterized by a uniquely original quality in which abstraction and figuration merge and intertwine.
To celebrate his ninetieth birthday, Hatje Cantz is now publishing the sixth volume of the catalogue raisonné, which brings the process of completely cataloguing his extensive oeuvre of more than 4,000 paintings and sculptures to a close. Over six decades, a stylistically diverse body of work with a wealth of motifs has emerged, to which the unique quality of these volumes attest.
Since 2011 Hatje Cantz has published each volume of Richter's catalogue raisonné, meticulously edited by the expert Dietmar Elger, at intervals of two years. In 2020 the artist declared that he would not paint any more pictures, so the sixth volume in this catalogue raisonné is also the last.
The catalogue lists all paintings and sculptures, as well as many works on paper, drawings, and photographs, each of which has been numbered by Richter himself. The catalogue raisonné begins with the painting Tisch (1962) and ends with his designs for the glass windows of the abbey in Tholey, to which the artist assigned the work number 957. All in all, the six-volume catalogue lists 4,118 works on a total of 3,536 pages. Each volume contains an introductory text. All works are reproduced in color and contain all technical details as well as detailed information on owners, exhibitions, and literature, with occasional remarks from the artist on individual works.
Dietmar Elger, the director of the Gerhard Richter Archive since its founding in 2006, began the research for the catalogue raisonné as early as 2002, and he brought his research to the Archive, where he continued the project. The publisher is planning two final, supplementary volumes.
In the summer of 2022, Hatje Cantz will also publish Gerhard Richter: Bibliography Catalogues – Artists' Books – Monographs, 1962 – 2020. Over the many years of collaboration with the Gerhard Richter Archive in Dresden, Heinrich Miess has compiled all monothematic publications on Richter’s work by both the artist himself and others for this comprehensive and fully illustrated catalogue.
An extensive volume of pictures, released in 2020, concentrates entirely upon the theme of landscape in Richter’s oeuvre. Through this genre, to which Richter has remained loyal for more than sixty years, it is possible to see more than a development in the artist’s painting style. There is also a perceptible, genuine independence in many of the works, which makes him one of the most remarkable artists of our day. This book adds to the understanding of the significance and pictorial essence of Richter’s art, opening up current insights into the theme of nature and landscape in the twenty-first century.