GERHARD RICHTER - A.R. PENCK
The Frissiras Museum presents two retrospective solo exhibitions of the renowned German painters,
Gerhard Richter and A. R. Penck, who have left their impact on the history of art of the second half of the
20th century. The exhibitions, which were inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic, are
hosted in both of the Museum buildings (3 & 7, Monis Asteriou str.).
Gerhard Richter, born in Dresden in 1932, is considered as one of the most important artists of the 20th
century. In 1961, a little before the Wall separated Germany, he settled in Dusseldorf where he studied in
the Academy of Fine Arts. He met there Sigmar Polke, Blinky Palermo and Konrad Fischer-Lueg, who
were to become colleagues years later. His oeuvre was influenced by important artists like Dubuffet,
Bacon and Fautrier. The use of photograph will play a decisive part in the evolution and development of a
totally personal writing. As he characteristically states: "I did not take photography as a substitute for
reality, but as a support to it [ ] I needed the most objective photo to correct my way of seeing. When I
draw, for example an object from life, I begin to stylize it and modify it so that it corresponds to my
vision of things and my training. When I copy a photo, however, I can forget all the criteria of that
training and, so to speak, paint against my will". It is difficult to classify Richter’s work, because of its
diversity and the artist’s easiness in shifting from realism to abstraction. Richter sees himself as the heir to
"an immensely rich painting, the art in general which we have lost, and which, nevertheless, commits us".
He has taken part in the biggest exhibitions (Italy, New York, Rome, Germany, Canada etc.) and the most
important biennales (Venice, Documenta etc.). In 1986 he was presented with the Oscar Kokoschka prize.
The Frissiras Museum presents 30 paintings of the artist, from 1960 to 2003, showing the diverse
character of his work.
A.R. Penck, born in Dresden in 1939, creates his personal artistic code that consists of archetype symbols
and basic forms which classifies him among the pioneer painters of Neo-Expressionism. Penck remained
in GDR, a fact that had a decisive influence on the developed of his work, expressing his personal
experiences as a dissident in a society that banished him from public life. He created abstract human
figures with a few, simple lines full of motion and life. The artist often falls back on the images of the pre-
historical images of the caves trying to show the hidden magic of the archaic figures. His gesture painting
is full of emotion and dramatic scenes. His strong interest on scientific problems, mathematics, theoretical
physics and later on cybernetics, information and system theory influenced his writings as well as his
paintings. The Frissiras Museum will present 37 works of the artist from 1956 to 1996, showing his varied
system of symbols and impressive expressionist writing.
Curator: Jurgen Schilling
Organised by: Martha Chalikia
Duration of the exhbitions: September 21 - December 4, 2005.
Dresdner Bank, Athanassios S. Bergeles, Europrint, Siemens, Colornet, KANTOR
Communication Sponsor: EΡT