Gerhard Richter

Musée d'Art et d'Industrie

This show, organized by a museum prominent in the French artistic scene, was significant not only because of the astonishing quality and presence of Gerhard Richter’s paintings but also because it made clear the continuity of a body of work that exists naturally in its own time and context, independent of fashion or any ephemeral ideological trend. Though Richter is well-known in France, no comprehensive critical overview of his work has been possible here; this is a legacy of the tendency in Paris in the early ’70s to allow on the one hand formalist painting and on the other photorealism to monopolize attention. Thus Richter’s show at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1977, with its catalogue essay by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, was not really understood by French artists and critics, who were able to consider Richter only as either a photorealist or a colorist. This recent show permitted a

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