Gerhard Richter - Cross, 1997


Gerhard Richter (*1932 in Dresden) is one of the best-known representatives of contemporary art in Germany. He works as a painter, sculptor and photographer. Richter studied in his home town of Dresden and at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf. From 1971 he held a chair for painting in Düsseldorf. He is considered one of the most important contemporary artists. In 2002, many of his works were shown in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work cannot be categorized. He works both abstractly and figuratively, constantly exploring the limits and possibilities of art. At the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, he is currently represented with works such as Ema (Nude on a Staircase), 1966; 48 Portraits, 1971/72; Elbe, 2012, and November, 2012. Richter lives and works in Cologne.

Gerhard Richter: Cross, 1997 © Gerhard Richter 2021 (07062021)

The wall sculpture Cross by Gerhard Richter was created in 1997 as a simple, straightforward sculpture made of tool steel. As an edition of 80 pieces, the lengths of the struts correspond to human proportions, which were transferred to the cross. In this derivation, the cross could therefore be seen as a kind of anthropometric study. Alongside the highly acclaimed church window in the south transept of Cologne Cathedral (2007), the cross is one of the few works by Richter that deal with the Christian faith, just like the choir windows he designed in 2020 in the Gothic abbey church of Tholey in Saarland. Richter developed the three works, each measuring 1.95 by 9.30 meters, on the basis of the abstract painting 724-4 from his book Patterns by repeatedly dividing and mirroring them.

Anna Friebe-Reininghaus, who initiated the Perlensucher at the Museum Ludwig in 2013 with other collectors, which purchases one or more works on paper for the Museum Ludwig each year, has donated the work to the museum. It complements the generous donation made by the collector and her husband Ulrich Reininghaus in 2008, when the couple presented the Museum Ludwig with around 180 editions by Sigmar Polke.