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IntroductionDaniel Richter is without a doubt one of the most important German artists of his generation. In the 1990s, he studied at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts with Werner Büttner and worked as an assistant to Albert Oehlen – both representative of the “Junge Wilde” (“Wild Youth”) movement in the 1980s that propagated a return to painting.
Richter started out painting only abstract images. Since the turn of the millennium, however, he has increasingly devoted his attention to figurative subjects. His aesthetic influences and themes are diverse. His paintings often reflect current events, mixing expressive and informative elements. Narrative yet mysterious, his images are at times reminiscent of Edvard Munch or Francis Bacon, yet belong unmistakeably to the here and now. Richter translates contemporary images from the media into compositions full of allegory and charged with a brooding tension. His paintings can be interpreted as tributes to historical paintings that bring the genre into the present while simultaneously deconstructing it.
Much like his monumental paintings, Richter’s lithographs impress with a seamless blend of representation and abstraction. The schematic depiction of the figures and the scene’s tension create a dream-like atmosphere in which ambiguity leaves plenty of room for association.
The thermal aesthetic so often associated with Daniel Richter’s work is particularly prominent in “Kashmir”, in which shadowy human figures in deep red hues – perhaps soldiers armed with guns – cross a landscape. They are outlined in yellow, creating an effect that is reminiscent of images shot with an infrared camera.
It is these dramatic scenes positioned somewhere between dream, myth, and reality that make Richter’s artistic approach so unmistakeable. Loaded with political meaning in their titles and subjects, his images are so diffuse and enigmatic that they defy linear interpretation and instead stimulate the viewers’ imaginations with their ambiguity. His pieces are able to unsettle us, though we cannot rationally understand why. The artist plays with the images the media puts inside our heads; we think we recognize something familiar, but it is distorted and strange – the very definition of “the uncanny” in the Freudian sense.
1962 Born in Lütjenburg, Germany 1991-1995 Studied Art under Professor Werner Büttner at the Universtiy of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany Worked as an Assistant to Albert Oehlen 2004-2006 Professor of Painting Berlin University of the Arts, Germany 2006-Present Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria Lives and works in Berlin, Hamburg and ViennaAwards
2009 Finkenwerder Art Award, Hamburg 2001 Förderpreis for Young Art, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 1998 Otto Dix Award Winner, Gera, GermanyCollections
Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt, Germany MoMA, New York City, USA Collection of the German Republic, Munich, Germany Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel Germany Centre Pompidou, Paris, France Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany The Olbricht Collection, Berlin, Germany The Falckenberg Collection, Hamburg, Germany Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, Berlin, Germany Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany Saatchi Gallery, London, UK Kunsthalle zu Kiel, GermanyExhibitions
2014 Daniel Richter, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria 2013 Daniel Richter – Mamillen, Spandrillen, Ronald, Kunstverein Augsburg, Germany 2013 Daniel Richter – 6 Neue Bilder, Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany 2010 Daniel Richter – Das große Welttheater, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria 2009 Daniel Richter, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria 2008 Die Idealisten, David Zwirner, New York City, USA 2007 Daniel Richter, GEM – Museum for Contemporary Art, The Hague, Netherlands 2007 Daniel Richter, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany 2006 Daniel Richter, Museum für Gegenwartskunst – Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, Basel, Switzerland 2004 Daniel Richter – The Morning After, David Zwirner, New York City, USA 2003 Daniel Richter – Hirn, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Germany 2001 Daniel Richter – Billard um Halbzehn, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany
2014 Unendlicher Spaß, Kunsthalle Schirn, Frankfurt, Germany 2013 Landschaft nach 2000, Kunsthalle Dominikanerkirche, Osnabrück, Germany 2013 Nightfall – New Tendencies in Figurative Painting, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic 2012 Galerie Utopia/ The Forgotten Bar Project: The Garden of Eden, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France 2012 Pink Caviar, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark 2012 Artandpress, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany 2011 HALLELUHWAH! – Hommage à CAN, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany 2011 Unter Helden – Vor-Bilder in der Gegenwartskunst, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany 2010 Pop Life: Art in a Material World, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada 2009 Pop Life: Art in a Material World, Tate Modern, London, UK 2009 Die Kunst ist super! Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany 2008 Wir nennen es Hamburg – Interdisziplinäres Kunstfestival, Hamburger Kunstverein, Germany 2008 Vertrautes Terrain – Aktuelle Kunst in und über Deutschland, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany 2008 Konstellationen III, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany 2007 Rockers Island – Olbricht Collection, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany 2006 Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany 2006 The Triumph of Painting – Part 4, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK 2004 Aktuelle Malerei – Heisskalt – Sammlung Scharpff, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany 2003 Berlin-Moskau/Moskau-Berlin 1950 – 2000, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany 2000 Tal R und Daniel Richter, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, Germany 1999 German Open 1999 – Gegenwartskunst in Deutschland, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany