Gerhard Richter – Städtebilder

Gerhard Richter – Townscapes

Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, Germany

14 April 1970 – 05 May 1970

Stadtbild TR
Townscape TR

1969 each panel: 174 cm x 124 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 217/1-3

Oil on canvas

In contrast to the aerial photographs, some of which depict entire areas of towns, the townscapes are from a shorter distance, having been based on photographs of architectural models. Gerhard Richter omits entirely or only hints at details such as windows; the architecture is reduced to basic forms, leaving the distinct geometric shapes of individual buildings clearly recognizable.


The buildings are mainly rendered in light colours, with the prominent shadows in the paintings conveying the impression of bright sunlight. The paint is applied extensively; only some parts, often depicting trees or bushes, show distinct brushwork and additional shades of grey.


The unreal, partly sterile feel of the image can be attributed to both the reduction in detail and the use of an architectural model as the source image.

The three-part work Townscape TR can be considered a high point of the paintings based on architectural models, as suggested by Gerhard Richter himself: "In this painting the model does not fit together – there is a sense of discontinuity about the image. I think very few of the paintings after architectural models are successful, with the exception of this one. I was able in this painting to achieve a sense of presence. I put the paint on very thickly in black and white, creating with the two a grey. It was quite musical, almost like a fugue."1

The simplified architectural forms illustrate how, while Gerhard Richter deals with the process of abstraction in this series, the motif always remains identifiable.
The depictions of minimalist architecture of the post-war era reflect an important sociopolitical issue of the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of the rebuilding of war-damaged Germany, new buildings of the kind depicted replaced lost houses. Thus, these paintings illustrate the optimistic fresh start made after the Second World War and can be understood as a counterpoint to the townscapes that are reminiscent of bombed-out cities.

1 Comments on some works, 1991 in: Gerhard Richter: Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961–2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p. 263

Notes prepared by editorial team

Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany



This artwork was shown in the following exhibitions:

This artwork is included in the following publications:

Title Author Date

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern (2014)

Details

Hardback, 336 pages

ISBN

9783775739061

ISBN

3775739068

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 82 
Illustrated: pp. 90-91, 261 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Published to accompany the exhibition 40 | 10. 40 Jahre Sammlung – 10 Jahre Museum Frieder Burda, this catalogue looks at Burda’s collecting activities over the last 40 years

...
More Details
40 | 10. 40 Jahre Sammlung – 10 Jahre Museum Frieder Burda Adriani, Götz / Burda, Frieder / Irrgang, Judith / Kugelmann, Anke / Müller, Hans-Joachim / Pehnt, Wolfgang / Schwarz, Katrin  2014

Publisher

Prestel, München (2012)

Details

Hardback, 305 pages

ISBN

9783791351896

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 74, 74-79 

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
ArtworkDiscussed: pp. 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81 

Exhibitions

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

Publisher

Tate Publishing (2011)

Details

Softcover, 304 pages

ISBN

9781854379443

ISBN

9781854379450

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkDiscussed: pp. 74 (74-78) 

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

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 184 pages

ISBN

9783775721363

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 165 
Illustrated: pp. 76, 77 (colour) 

Exhibitions

The catalogue Gerhard Richter: Bilder aus privaten Sammlungen was published to coincide with exhibitions in Baden-Baden, Beijing, Edinburgh, Vienna and Duisburg in 2008 and 2009

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Bilder aus privaten Sammlungen Adriani, Götz / Schwarz, Dieter  2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

3775722483

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 137 

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. 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. 137 

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
Die deutschen Beiträge zur Biennale Venedig, 1895-2007 Zeller, Ursula  2007

Publisher

DuMont, Köln (2002)

Details

Hardback, 420 pages

ISBN

9783832158484

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: p. 250 

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

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Maler Elger, Dietmar  2002

Publisher

Gli Ori, Prato (1999)

Details

Softcover, 205 pages

ISBN

8887700079

Languages

Italian, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 16, 30, 169, 171, 179, 181 

Exhibitions

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

Publisher

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

Details

Softcover, 172 pages

ISBN

345833937X

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 53, 54 
Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977. Eine Kunst-Monographie Hemken, Kai-Uwe  1998

Publisher

Tate Publishing, London (1991)

Details

144 pages

ISBN

9781854370846

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 27, 126 
Illustrated: p. 53 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter Rainbird, Sean / Severne, Judith  1991
Gerhard Richter. Bilder = Paintings 1962 - 1985 Harten, Jürgen / Hering, Karl-Heinz / Honisch, Dieter / Loock, Ulrich / Ronte, Dieter / Elger, Dietmar  1986

Publisher

Waisenhaus-Buchdruckerei und Verlag, Braunschweig (1985)

Details

Softcover, 230 pages

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkIllustrated: pp. 118-119 (b/w) 

Exhibitions

Museum? Museum! Museum. Kunst von heute aus Hamburger Privatsammlungen Schilling, Jürgen / Peters, Babette / Hofmann, Werner / Gercken, Günther  1985

Publisher

Museum Folkwang, Essen (1972)

Details

Hardback, 154 pages

Languages

Italian, German, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 10-11, 41 
Illustrated: pp. 66, 80-81 (b/w) 
Gerhard Richter. 36. Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione tedesco = 36. Biennale in Venedig, Deutscher Pavilion = 36. Biennale in Venice, German Pavilion Honisch, Dieter / Helms, Dietrich / Honnef, Klaus / Ohff, Heinz / Dienst, Rolf Gunther / Schön, Rolf / Polke, Sigmar  1972

Publisher

Lipp, München (1970)

Details

Softcover, 210 pages

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 157 

Exhibitions

Malerei nach Fotografie. Von der Camera Obscura bis zur Pop Art. Eine Dokumentation Schmoll, Josef A.  1970