Gerhard Richter "Panorama" - Centre Pompidou

The Pompidou Centre is hosting a retrospective exhibition on German artist Gerhard Richter, celebrating his 80th birthday and looking back on the career of one of contemporary art's most important figures. The 'Panorama' exhibition is arranged both chronologically and thematically, examining Richter's exploration of the relationship between photography and painting in the 60s, his abstract works of the 70s, his portraits, history painting and landscapes of the 80s, continuing right up until his digitally produced abstract paintings of today. The exhibition centres both physically and conceptually around a room displaying grey and monochrome canvases and sculptural installations made from mirrors or panes of glass, recalling the first Richter exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, held in February 1977 when the museum first opened, alongside a Marcel Duchamp retrospective - an artist by whom Richter is very much inspired. These reflective surfaces question the visual process and allow the artist to produce an image that is constantly changing. We also see Richter hold a mirror up to the history of art with his tributes to Titian, Duchamp, Vermeer and classical landscapes, with his blurred and distorted photorealistic works revisiting familiar compositions, whilst infusing them with a diaphanous atmosphere that lends them a timeless and melancholy nature. As an extension of Richter's monumental abstract paintings of the 80s, we also see the artist's most recent works, in which he uses computer software to produce a large, abstract, digital print and in so doing, reexamines the role of the painter in today's digital age - but as Richter himself says, "I'm still very sure that painting is one of the most basic human capacities, like dancing and singing, that make sense, that stay with us, as something human."

Gerhard Richter - Panorama
Centre Pompidou, 75004
6th June - 26th September, 2012
Every day except Tuesday, 11am - 9pm. 
Late night openings on Thursdays until 11pm.

Photos copyright Kim Laidlaw 

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