Gerhard Richter’s ‘Atlas’

In 1961 Gerhard Richter began Atlas, an archive of photographs and other materials from 1945 to the present that he collected as sources for his work. It is a work in progress and contains more than 5.000 images to date. Atlas is an intimate diary as well as an archive and includes photographs of family and friends, concentration camps, pornography, cityscapes, flowers, news photographs, etc., as well as sketches and fragments of paintings. “In 1962 I found the first outlet; by painting from photos I was relieved from the obligation to choose and construct a subject.”

The images are grouped together on approximately 780 separate panels. The images closely parallel, year by year, the subjects of Richter’s paintings, revealing the orderly but open-ended analysis central to his art.

Follow the link above to click through up to 783 sheets of Richter’s Atlas. Below each sheet is a selection of ‘associated paintings’– work by Richter that has been sourced to the Atlas sheet in question.

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One Response to Gerhard Richter’s ‘Atlas’

  1. Emma Tome says:

    This reminds me of this exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum:

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