2 Seestücke, 1975
July 7 – September 13, 2009
40 Years Kabinett für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremerhaven
An MMK Exhibition series in collaboration with
Gregor Schneider and Moritz Wesseler
Following our presentation of works by Reiner Ruthenbeck and Lawrence Weiner, as part of the Double exhibition series MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main is now showcasing Gerhard Richter’s 2 Seestücke. The exhibition takes its cue from an historical presentation by Bremerhaven Kabinett für aktuelle Kunst. From July 7 through September 13, 2009, Gregor Schneider’s reconstruction of the Bremerhaven interior will be home to the third solo show by Gerhard Richter – held in that city back in 1975, following an exhibition of his Farbtafeln in 1971 and of a monumental Parkstück in 1973.
The two Seestücke presented at MMK are drawn from the group of landscapes that have a special role in Gerhard Richter’s oeuvre. Since his very early days as an artist, Gerhard Richter has repeatedly and in countless different ways addressed landscape as a theme. The two Seestücke produced in 1975 not only illustrate quite marvelously how strongly he was fascinated by the historical subject matter, but also specifically reference Bremerhaven as a North German seaside town. As with the exhibition of the two Lawrence Weiner text sculptures, by virtue of the doubling of the motif the presentation of the two Gerhard Richter canvases, hung facing each other, quite vividly underscores the validity of Gregor Schneider’s title for the exhibition series: Double.
The two paintings, both of which are based on photographs of the sea, offer a view out over the open sea. However, the eye soon finds itself confounded by a lack of visibility. The swell of the sea and the expanse of the cloud-covered skies seem to be concealed behind a veil of fog, and remain only vaguely discernible. This lack of clear focus is a typical feature of Gerhard Richter’s canvases, as he is forever highlighting the relationship of photography and painting as media. For Richter, the linkage of the exact reproduction of reality as represented by the medium of photography and the substantive meaning of painting as an artistic form of representation are a crucial issue and it is one he addresses not only in the works showcased at MMK.
As part of the Double exhibition series we are displaying loans from private collections of works by Gerhard Richter that rarely go on public show. The MMK Collection itself features central works by Gerhard Richter, who is widely considered one of the most important living artists. Thus, the MMK is very pleased that with 2 Seestücke it is not only highlighting the history and relevance of the Bremerhaven Kabinett für aktuelle Kunst, but at the same time continuing the long-standing link between the museum and Gerhard Richter.