From 9th September to 12th December 2021, Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space will present the most extensive exhibition of Gerhard Richter’s drawings ever shown in the UK. Over the course of a career that has spanned six decades, Richter has been widely acknowledged as one of the most influential contemporary artists in the world.
Featuring more than 60 works on paper made between 1999 and 2021, the exhibition offers a rare opportunity to explore this intimate aspect of Richter’s artistic practice. It includes several new series of drawings, created during a rich period of experimentation for the artist during 2020 and the beginning of 2021. This will be Richter’s first presentation in a major London gallery since his retrospective exhibition, Gerhard Richter: Panorama, at Tate Modern in 2011.
The exhibition includes groups of drawings that feature varied markings in graphite and coloured pencil. In a set of rarely-seen painterly works created using coloured inks, the fluidity and unpredictability of the pools of ink – in some cases reaching right to the edges of the paper – are counterbalanced and anchored by structures of graphic lines, contrasting organic and systematic forms of abstraction. Inks have played an important role in the development of Richter’s art: his earliest known works, a series of monotypes titled Elbe made in 1957, were also the result of experimentation with the fluid nature of ink on paper.
In addition, the exhibition includes a series of overpainted photographs, where snapshots of woodland are obscured by layers of paint. Richter first began painting on photographs in the mid-1980s, creating hybrid works that combine the abstract materiality of paint over the slick surface of photographic reproductions.
Gerhard Richter (b. 1932 in Dresden) is regarded as one of the most important and influential painters working today. His pioneering painting practice over the past five decades has gained him wide international acclaim and numerous prestigious awards, including the Golden Lion of the 47th Venice Biennale. Richter’s paintings have been exhibited extensively across the globe, with recent solo exhibitions at institutions including the Met Breuer, New York (2020); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2017); and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisben, Australia (2017)).
The exhibition is organised in partnership with HENI Artists Agency.
A hardcover catalogue illustrating all the works in the exhibition and including a text by Michael Newman will be published by HENI to accompany the show. This will be available to purchase in the Hayward Gallery Shop.
Gerhard Richter: Drawings, 1999-2021 9th September – 12th December 2021 HENI Project Space, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX