Gerhard Richter. 18. Oktober 1977

Gerhard Richter: October 18, 1977

Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany

12 February 1989 – 09 April 1989

Zelle
Cell

1988 200 cm x 140 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 670

Oil on canvas

The portrait-format painting Cell is part of the series October 18, 1977, in which Gerhard Richter approaches the German terrorist group Red Army Faction (RAF) in an artistic manner. It shows the deserted prison cell of one of the leaders of the RAF, Andreas Baader, who was arrested in June 1972 in Frankfurt am Main and found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his cell at Stuttgart-Stammheim prison on 18th October 1977.

The picture has a distinct vertical division in the centre: floor-to-ceiling bookshelves cover the right side, lined with books. A light-coloured wall dominates the left side of the image. A dark coat hangs over the door leading to the bathroom of the cell. In contrast to the other paintings from the series, this work is defined by conspicuous vertical blurring.

All the paintings within the series October 18, 1977 are based on photographic source images, in this case a police photograph taken following the discovery of Baader’s suicide and published in the German magazine Stern in 1980. Additional details are apparent in the source photograph: a triangular red flag hanging next to the book shelves, and numerous objects, amongst them books and a typewriter, placed on the floor in front of the shelves.
Two edited copies of the photograph can be found in Gerhard Richter's Atlas [Sheet: 470], in which he collected many of his source images. Both copies are blurred, which makes clear that the details mentioned above were of lesser importance to the artist's idea for the painting.

In contrast to the paintings Man Shot Down 1 and 2 [CR: 669/1-2], which depict the dead Andreas Baader, Cell refers to his everyday life in prison. Although his personal effects cannot be identified clearly, the numerous books in particular reflect Baader's intellectual background and the RAF's attempts to underpin its politically-motivated actions with the help of ideological materials.

Gerhard Richter repeatedly pointed out the danger which lies in placing one’s trust in ideologies. In reference to the October 18, 1977 pictures, Richter speaks of digression in an ideological sense: "a leave-taking from a specific doctrine of salvation and, beyond that, from the illusion that unacceptable circumstances of life can be changed by this conventional expedient of violent struggle (this kind of revolutionary thought and action is futile and passé)."1 Thus, the painting Cell can be understood as a manifestation of a failure which resulted from a misguided ideology.

 

1 Notes, 1989 in: Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p. 213.


Notes prepared by editorial team

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA



This artwork was shown in the following exhibitions:

This artwork is included in the following publications:

Title Author Date

Publisher

Wako Works of Art Co., Tokyo (2015)

Details

Softcover, 71 pages

ISBN

9784902070453

Languages

Japanese, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 33 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Painting Shimizu, Minoru  2015

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern (2014)

Details

Hardback, 188 pages

ISBN

9783906053158

ISBN

9783775738057

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 14, 16, 24, 25, 97-98, 176, 182 
Illustrated: p. 63 (colour) 

Exhibitions

The catalogue Gerhard Richter. Pictures / Series accompanies Gerhard Richter’s exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler. The show is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, a longstanding friend of Richter

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Pictures / Series Didi - Huberman, Georges / Elger, Dietmar / Kono, Michiko / Obrist, Hans Ulrich / Schwarz, Dieter  2014

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern (2014)

Details

Hardback, 188 pages

ISBN

9783775738040

ISBN

9783906053141

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 14, 16, 24, 25, 97-98, 176, 182 
Illustrated: p. 63 (colour) 

Exhibitions

The catalogue Gerhard Richter. Bilder / Serien accompanies Gerhard Richter’s eponymous exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler. The show is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, a longstanding friend of Richter

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Bilder / Serien Didi - Huberman, Georges / Elger, Dietmar / Kono, Michiko / Obrist, Hans Ulrich / Schwarz, Dieter  2014
Time Present. Photography from The Deutsche Bank Collection Krause, Stefan / Koerner von Gustorf, Oliver / Cloete, Alan / Chadha, Gunit / Hütte, Friedhelm / Liebscher, Martin / Campany, David  2014
Time Present. Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection Ng, Rachel / März, Christina / Hütte, Friedhelm / Lingham, Susie / Lim, Philip  2014

Publisher

Prestel, München (2012)

Details

Hardback, 305 pages

ISBN

9783791351896

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 11, 165, 123, 136, 167, 168, 169, 172, 202, 212, 291, 292, 298 
Discussed: pp. 165, 168-170, 174 
Illustrated: p. 185 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Panorama. Retrospektive Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2012

Publisher

Édition du Centre Pompidou, Paris (2012)

Details

Hardback, 304 pages

ISBN

978284426574X

Language

French

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 13, 123, 131, 172, 174, 175, 202, 212, 288, 290, 299 
Discussed: pp. 165, 174 
Illustrated: p. 185 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Panorama. Rétrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2012

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (2011)

Details

Hardback, 862 pages

ISBN

9783863350567

Language

German

Category

Monographs

Notes

2nd ed.

ArtworkMentioned: pp. 8, 13, 14 

The catalogue Gerhard Richter. Atlas displays 783 plates of Gerhard Richter’s Atlas. Atlas is a collection of photographs, newspaper cuttings and sketches, which the artist compiled and then arranged on single sheets

...
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Gerhard Richter. Atlas Friedel, Helmut  2011

Publisher

Tate Publishing (2011)

Details

Softcover, 304 pages

ISBN

9781854379443

ISBN

9781854379450

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 10, 11, 123, 129, 175, 211-212, 298, 299 
Discussed: pp. 165-170 
Illustrated: p. 185 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Panorama. A Retrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2011

Publisher

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2011)

Details

Softcover, 64 pages

ISBN

9783938002339

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 25 

Exhibitions

Übermalt. Verwischt. Ausgelöscht. Das Porträt im 20. Jahrhundert Mund, Henrike  2011

Publisher

Hirmer Verlag, München (2011)

Details

Hardback, 214 pages

ISBN

9783777434513

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 160, 163, 174 
Illustrated: pp. 185, 203 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Bilder einer Epoche was published on the occasion of the exhibition at Bucerius Kunstforum in Hamburg in 2011. Both the exhibition and the catalogue focus on Richter’s paintings of the 1960s

...
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Gerhard Richter. Bilder einer Epoche Schneede, Uwe M. / Butin, Hubertus / Elger, Dietmar / Rübel, Dietmar / Westheider, Ortrud  2011

Publisher

Hirmer Publishers, Munich copublished by Heni Publishing, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, NY and Paris (2011)

Details

Hardback, 214 pages

ISBN

9783777450018

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 7, 9, 10, 23, 97, 202, 210, 211 
Discussed: pp. 110-111, 154-193 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Images of an Era was published on the occasion of the exhibition at Bucerius Kunstforum in Hamburg in 2011. Both the exhibition and the catalogue focus on Richter’s paintings of the 1960s

...
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Gerhard Richter. Images of an Era Schneede, Uwe M. / Butin, Hubertus / Elger, Dietmar / Rübel, Dietmar / Westheider, Ortrud  2011

Publisher

Kulturstiftung der Länder in Verbindung mit dem Gerhard Richter Archiv, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2009)

Details

Softcover, 32 pages

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: p. 30 

This issue of the Patrimonia series was published on the occasion of the acquisition of the painting Portrait Dr. Knobloch of 1964 by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in 2009

...
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Gerhard Richter. Porträt Dr. Knobloch (Patrimonia 344) Elger, Dietmar / Roth, Martin / Stange, Eva-Maria  2009

Publisher

Actes Sud, Arles (2009)

Details

Hardback, 138 pages

ISBN

9782742782864

Language

French

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkDiscussed: pp. 22, 45 

Exhibitions

This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Richter en France at the Musée de Grenoble in 2009. Both the exhibition and catalogue are dedicated to works by Gerhard Richter that belong to public collections and museums in France

...
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Richter en France Tosatto, Guy / Criqui, Jean-Pierre / Storsve, Jonas  2009

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 144 pages

ISBN

9783775723442

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 87, 92 

Exhibitions

The catalogue was published to coincide with the exhibition Gerhard Richter: 4900 Colours at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2008

...
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Gerhard Richter. 4900 Colours Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Gidal, Peter / Pelzer, Birgit / Peyton-Jones, Julia / Obrist, Hans Ulrich  2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

3775722483

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 33 

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
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Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor  2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

9783775722490

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 33 

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Large Abstracts Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor  2008

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (2006)

Details

Hardback, 862 pages

ISBN

9783883758015

Language

German

Category

Monographs

Notes

Encyclopedic new edition that completely revises and updates the 1997 edition and includes 147 additional plates.

ArtworkMentioned: pp. 8, 13, 14 

At 864 pages, this monumental and comprehensive publication maps the ideas, processes, life and times of Gerhard Richter. Conceived and closely edited by Richter himself, Atlas cuts straight to the heart of the artist's work

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Atlas Friedel, Helmut  2006

Publisher

Thames & Hudson, London (2006)

Details

Hardback, 862 pages

ISBN

9780500970171

Language

English

Category

Monographs

Notes

Encyclopedic new edition,which completely revises and updates the 1997 edition and includes 147 additional plates.

ArtworkMentioned: pp. 8, 13, 14 

At 864 pages, this monumental and comprehensive publication maps the ideas, processes, life and times of Gerhard Richter. Conceived and closely edited by Richter himself, Atlas cuts straight to the heart of the artist's work

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Atlas Friedel, Helmut  2006

Publisher

Wako Works of Art, Tokyo (2005)

Details

Hardback, 279 pages

ISBN

4473032558

Language

Japanese

Category

Monographs

Notes

Revised edition of "Texte. Schriften und Interviews", first published in 1993.

ArtworkIllustrated: p. 93 (b/w) 
Texte. Schriften und Interviews. Revised and Enlarged Edition Richter, Gerhard / Shimizu, Minoru  2005
Gerhard Richter. Editions 1965–2004 Butin, Hubertus / Gronert, Stefan  2004
Gerhard Richter. Editionen 1965–2004 Butin, Hubertus / Gronert, Stefan  2004

Publisher

The Museum of Modern Art New York, New York, NY (2003)

Details

Hardback, 351 pages

ISBN

0870707000

ISBN

9780870707001

Language

English

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 303 
Illustrated: p. 317 (b/w) 

Exhibitions

Visions of Modern Art. Painting and Sculpture from the Museum of Modern Art Elderfield, John / Lowry, Glenn D. / Ganz, Sarah / Storr, Robert / Umland, Anne / Daftari, Fereshteh  2003

Publisher

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2003)

Details

Softcover, 336 pages

ISBN

0870703552

Language

English

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 117, 118, 198, 243, 245, 246 
Illustrated: p. 193 (b/w) 

Gerhard Richter is widely recognized as one of the most significant painters working today, and he is certainly among the most influential. He has worked in a wide range of media since the early 1960s

...
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Gerhard Richter. Doubt and Belief in Painting Storr, Robert  2003

Publisher

DuMont, Köln (2002)

Details

Hardback, 420 pages

ISBN

9783832158484

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 406, 425, 430 
Discussed: pp. 122, 356, 366, 377 
Illustrated: p. 367 (b/w) 

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter. Maler gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre

...
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Gerhard Richter. Maler Elger, Dietmar  2002

Publisher

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2002)

Details

Hardback, Softcover, 340 pages

ISBN

189102437X

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 76 
Illustrated: p. 215 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. 40 Years of Painting at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, this publication represents a broad range of Gerhard Richter's paintings of the last 40 years

...
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Gerhard Richter. Forty Years of Painting Storr, Robert  2002

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2002)

Details

Hardback, 340 pages

ISBN

9783775711692

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 75 
Illustrated: p. 215 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. 40 Years of Painting at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, this publication represents a broad range of Gerhard Richter's paintings of the last 40 years

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Malerei Storr, Robert  2002

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (2001)

Details

Hardback, 79 pages

ISBN

388375479X

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 6 

Exhibitions

The catalogue Gerhard Richter. Survey accompanies the eponymous exhibition of the German Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IfA), which has been composed by Gerhard Richter himself

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Survey Schwarz, Dieter / Zeller, Ursula / Adriani, Götz  2001

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf (2000)

Details

Hardback, 340 pages

ISBN

9783933807045

Language

English

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: p. 32 

This catalogue raisonné of Gerhard Richter's drawings encompasses works in pencil, India ink, ballpoint pen, and other drawing media, on both paper and canvas since 1964

...
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Gerhard Richter. Drawings 1964-1999. Catalogue Raisonné Schwarz, Dieter / Pelzer, Birgit  2000

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (2000)

Details

Hardback, 80 pages

ISBN

3883754161

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 6 

Exhibitions

The catalogue Gerhard Richter. Übersicht accompanies the eponymous exhibition of the German Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IfA), which has been composed by Gerhard Richter himself

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Übersicht Schwarz, Dieter / Zeller, Ursula / Adriani, Götz  2000

Publisher

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2000)

Details

Hardback, 151 pages

ISBN

0870700235

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions

Notes

An additional German translation of Robert Storr's essay accompanies this publication published on the occasion of an exhibition "Gerhard Richter. October 18, 1977" at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ArtworkMentioned: pp. 28, 105, 107 
Illustrated: pp. 16, 29 (b/w) 

Exhibitions

On October 18, 1977, three young German radicals, members of the militant Baader-Meinhof group, were found dead in a Stuttgart prison; they were pronounced suicides, but many people suspected they had been murdered

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. October 18, 1977 Storr, Robert  2000

Publisher

Gli Ori, Prato (1999)

Details

Softcover, 205 pages

ISBN

8887700079

Languages

Italian, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 13, 14, 27, 166, 171, 176, 181, 182 
Discussed: pp. 21, 34, 35, 167, 177 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter Corà, Bruno / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Chevrier, Jean Francois / Moscati, Italo  1999

In

Parachute

Issue

January - March 1999, No. 93, pp. 21–27

Language

French

Category

Essays
L'image-événement. Représentations de la terreur dans l'œuvre de Willie Doherty et de Gerhard Richter Lavoie, Vincent  1999

Publisher

Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. (1998)

Details

Softcover, 172 pages

ISBN

345833937X

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 64, 83, 88 
Illustrated: p. 87 (b/w) 
Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977. Eine Kunst-Monographie Hemken, Kai-Uwe  1998

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit (1996)

Details

Hardback, 153 pages

ISBN

3775791000

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 148 

Exhibitions

Designed by the artist himself, this publication gives a rare insight into one of the most intensive work periods (1995–1996) of Richter’s life

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. 100 Pictures Obrist, Hans Ulrich / Pelzer, Birgit / Tosatto, Guy  1996

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (1996)

Details

Hardback, 153 pages

ISBN

3893228519

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 150 

Exhibitions

Designed by the artist himself, this publication gives a rare insight into one of the most intensive work periods (1995–1996) of Richter’s life

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. 100 Bilder Obrist, Hans Ulrich / Pelzer, Birgit / Tosatto, Guy  1996

Publisher

Anthony D'Offay, London (1995)

Details

Softcover, 60 pages

ISBN

0947564667

Languages

German, English

Category

Monographs

Notes

The book is published in a limited edition of 1000 copies that are signed by the artist.

ArtworkMentioned: pp. 5, 6, 58, 59 

This limited edition reproduces in facsimile each of the twenty-three Richter works executed on pages of the book Stammheim. Der Prozess gegen die Rote Armee Fraktion by Pieter H. Bakker Schut

...
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Stammheim. Gerhard Richter Seymour, Anne  1995

Publisher

Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Nürnberg (1992)

Details

Softcover, 24 pages

ISBN

3928342215

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 8 

Exhibitions

Aus der Sammlung. Nach 25 Jahren Grisebach, Lucius / Braunsberg, Günter  1992

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (1991)

Details

Softcover, 64 pages

ISBN

3883751413

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkDiscussed: p. 18 
Illustrated: p. 18 (b/w) 
Zu Richters Oktober-Bildern Butin, Hubertus  1991

In

Du. Die Zeitschrift der Kultur

Issue

February 1989, No. 2, p. 99

Language

German

Category

Newspaper Articles
ArtworkDiscussed: p. 99 
18. Oktober 1977 Ammann, Jean-Christophe  1989

Publisher

Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1989)

Details

Softcover, 166 pages

ISBN

9069180464

Languages

Dutch, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 161 
Discussed: pp. 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 
Illustrated: p. 95 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter 1988/89 Schampers, Karel / Tilroe, Anna / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D.  1989

4 related publications

Title Author Date

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (1991)

Details

Softcover, 59 pages

ISBN

3883751057

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions

Notes

2nd edition of the exhibition catalogue from 1989.

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. 18. Oktober 1977 Storck, Gerhard / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D.  1991

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln (1989)

Details

Softcover, 59 pages

ISBN

3883751057

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions

Exhibitions

On October 18, 1977, three young German radicals, members of the militant Baader-Meinhof group, were found dead in a Stuttgart prison; they were pronounced suicides, but many people suspected they had been murdered

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. 18. Oktober 1977 Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Germer, Stefan / Storck, Gerhard / Thorn-Prikker, Jan / König, Kasper  1989

In

Artis. Das aktuelle Kunstmagazin

Issue

Mai 1989, Vol. 41, pp. 46–49

Language

German

Category

Journals

Exhibitions

Stoffsammlung Graw, Isabelle  1989

In

Der Spiegel

Issue

13 February 1989, No. 7, pp. 226–232

Language

German

Category

Journals
Read Article

Exhibitions

Das Ende der RAF, gnädig weggemalt Hohmeyer, Jürgen  1989