Szenenwechsel IX

Change of Scene IX

Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main, Germany

31 January 1996 - 12 May 1996

painting_title_en

Erschossener 1
Man Shot Down 1

1988 100 cm x 140 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 669-1

Oil on canvas

The two paintings Man Shot Down 1 and 2 [CR: 669/1-2] are executed in a landscape format and show the dead body of Andreas Baader, co-founder of the Red Army Faction (RAF), who had been imprisoned in Stuttgart-Stammheim since June 1972 and committed suicide in the night to 18th October 1977. The images are based on photographs taken by the police shortly after the dead body had been discovered and that Richter had found in press archives in Hamburg. Moreover, the photograph had been published on 30th October 1980 in the print magazine stern[1].

 

Man Shot Down 1 [CR: 669-1] is dominated by Andreas Baader, lying diagonally on the ground. While his right arm is pressed against his body, the left arm is splayed out to the side. His neck seems to be overstretched, his mouth stands slightly open and his open eyes are transfixed on the ceiling. Because of the blurring of the image some details like the pool of blood around his head and the gun are hardly distinguishable. Baader’s dark trousers contrast with his pale skin and the folding screen partially visible behind his head that are set apart from the grey floor. Both the choice of detail and the relatively minor blurring thereby bring the painting closer to the original photograph.

 

Man Shot Down 2 [CR: 669-2] on the other hand shows a more elusive and almost other-worldly impression due to heavier blurring and a more focused detail of the original photograph. The boundaries between body and background become indistinct and Baader’s face now is hardly recognizable without further information. Details like the partially visible folding screen blend into the overall grey background and withdraw from focus. The body of Baader is the center of the painting. By moving the angle slightly around, Baader appears to be closer to the viewer but is also dematerialized by the increased blurring[2]. The imagery is less rich in contrasts than the first painting, underlining the general impression of atony and dissolution[3]. As in the other paintings of the dead terrorists (Dead 1 to 3 [CR: 667/1-3], Hanged [CR: 668]) these measures allow for an easier identification of the viewer with the subject while simultaneously creating a sense of distance to the occurrences; the closer the viewer gets to the painting to discern further details, the more elusive these become both visually and intellectually[4].

 

In both versions[5] the splayed-out arm alludes to the death of the depicted person as it signifies the loss of control over the body. Moreover, the posture is reminiscent of depictions of the Pietà and the Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793)[6]. These art historical aspects make these images a part of a whole line of older works that deal with the dead body and underline the meaning of death for the whole cycle[7]. Gerhard Richter implies this by saying: “Then it all evolved […], in the direction of death. And that’s really not all that unpaintable. Far from it, in fact. Death and suffering have always been an artistic theme.'[8] Furthermore, the multiplication of the subject matter, the focus on constantly decreasing perspectives and the increased blurring, as can be found on other paintings of the cycle as well, resemble cinematographic techniques like stop-action-sequences, close-ups and fade-outs. The use of these techniques enhances the dramatic effect for the contemporary viewer even more. On the other hand, an increasing dematerialization of Andreas Baader is clearly recognisable, similar to the three paintings that show Ulrike Meinhof Dead [CR: 667/1-3]. Details are not easily detectable, the effects used so often to create a media frenzy are consciously avoided[9].

 

The painterly treatment of Gerhard Richter hence creates a distance to the depicted events and allows for a new contemplation of the death of the terrorists on an impartial level. This evoked many critical reactions, just as the publication of the original photographs had done 11 years earlier. Richter, however, detects a clear difference between photographs and paintings: “[…] the photograph provokes horror, and the painting – with the same motif – something more like grief. That comes very close to what I intended.'[10]



[1] Robert Storr (ed.), Gerhard Richter. October 18, 1977, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2000, pp. 106-108, 149.

[2] Achim Borchardt-Hume, “’Dreh Dich nicht um’ – Richters Bilder aus den späten 1980er-Jahren“, in: Mark Godfrey, Nicholas Serota, Dorothée Brill, Camille Morineau (ed.), Gerhard Richter. Panorama, exh. cat. Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Munich, 2012, p. 170.

[3] Martin Henatsch, Gerhard Richter – 18. Oktober 1977. Das verwischte Bild der Geschichte, Fischer, Frankfurt, 1998, p. 76.

[4] Borchardt-Hume 2012, p. 170.

[5] In notes drawn up for a press conference in Haus Esters in Krefeld, Richter mentions three paintings of Baader shot down. One of the paintings, however, was separated in the preliminary stages of the presentation of the cycle and can’t be identified anymore. (Cf. Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter, Catalogue Raisonné Vol. 4, Ostfildern, 2015, p. 121). In addition, the different image sections indicate a search for an adequate capturing of the event which is impossible due to the circumstances of the death. (Cf. Kai-Uwe Hemken, Gerhard Richter 18. Oktober 1977, insel, Frankfurt/Leipzig, 1998, p. 86).

[6] Storr 2000, p. 123.

[7] Ortrud Westheider, “Eine Idee, die bis zum Tod geht. Der Zyklus 18. Oktober 1977“, in: Uwe M. Schneede (ed.), Gerhard Richter. Bilder einer Epoche, exh. cat. Bucerius Kunst-Forum, Munich, 2011, p. 176.

[8] Conversation with Jan Thorn-Prikker concerning the 18 October 1977 cycle, 1989 (translated by David Britt) in: Gerhard Richter. Text. Writings, Interviews and Letters 1961-2007, Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, p. 227.

[9] Storr 2000, p. 106.

[10] Conversation with Jan Thorn-Prikker 1989, p. 229.


Notes prepared by editorial team

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Gerhard Richter. Atlas Friedel, Helmut 2006

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

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.

Artwork Mentioned: 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

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Gerhard Richter. Atlas Friedel, Helmut 2006

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback , 224 pages

ISBN

9783775717243

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 41, 56, 57, 60, 92

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Portraits is the first publication that focuses solely on Richter’s portraits, many of which have now gained both recognition and veneration across the globe.

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Gerhard Richter. Portraits Gronert, Stefan / Butin, Hubertus 2006

Publisher

Wako Works of Art, Tokyo

Details

Hardback , 279 pages

ISBN

4473032558

Language

Japanese

Category

Monographs

Notes

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

Artwork
Illustrated: p. 92 (b/w)
Texte: Schriften und Interviews: Revised and Enlarged Edition Richter, Gerhard / Shimizu, Minoru 2005

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf in association with D.A.P Distributed Art Publishers, New York, NY

Details

Hardback , 324 pages

ISBN

9783937572215

ISBN

393757221X

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 11, 21, 39-40

Exhibitions

This catalogue raisonné records Richter’s works in the years 1993-2004. In his work, Gerhard Richter calls into question painting's boundaries, and the labels applied to painting and theories connected with them.

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Gerhard Richter. Catalogue Raisonné 1993–2004 Zweite, Armin 2005
Gerhard Richter: Editions 1965-2004 2004
Gerhard Richter: Editionen 1965-2004 Butin, Hubertus / Gronert, Stefan 2004

Publisher

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Details

Softcover , 336 pages

ISBN

0870703552

Language

English

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 117, 199, 243, 245

Illustrated: p. 192 (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

The Museum of Modern Art New York, New York, NY

Details

Hardback , 351 pages

ISBN

0870707000

ISBN

9780870707001

Language

English

Category

Group Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 304

Illustrated: p. 319 (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

Details

Hardback Softcover , 340 pages

ISBN

189102437X

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Illustrated: p. 216 (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

Details

Hardback , 340 pages

ISBN

9783775711692

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Illustrated: p. 216 (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. Malerei Storr, Robert 2002

Publisher

DuMont, Köln

Details

Hardback , 420 pages

ISBN

9783832158484

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 406, 425, 430
Discussed: pp. 122, 356, 366, 371, 377

Illustrated: p. 364, 380 (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

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

Details

Hardback , 79 pages

ISBN

388375479X

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 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.

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

Publisher

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

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.

Artwork Mentioned: pp. 28, 105, 106, 107-108, 115

Illustrated: p. 18 (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.

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Gerhard Richter. October 18, 1977 Storr, Robert 2000

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf

Details

Hardback , 340 pages

ISBN

9783933807045

Language

English

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 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

Details

Hardback , 80 pages

ISBN

3883754161

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 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.

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

Publisher

Gli Ori, Prato

Details

Softcover , 205 pages

ISBN

8887700079

Language

Italian English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: 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

01 January 1999 , No. 93 , p. 21 - 27

Language

French

Category

Essays
Artwork
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.

Details

Softcover , 172 pages

ISBN

345833937X

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 64, 83, 86

Illustrated: p. 84 (b/w)
Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977. Eine Kunst-Monographie Hemken, Kai-Uwe 1998

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback , 153 pages

ISBN

3893228519

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 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.

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

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback , 153 pages

ISBN

3775791000

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 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.

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

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit

Details

Hardback , 311 pages

ISBN

3893228608

Language

English German

Category

Group Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 36, 46

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer. Sammlung Frieder Burda = Collection Frieder Burda Poetter, Jochen / Brehm, Margrit / Möckel, Birgit 1996

Publisher

Anthony D'Offay, London

Details

Softcover , 60 pages

ISBN

0947564667

Language

German English

Category

Monographs

Notes

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

Artwork Mentioned: pp. 5, 6, 58, 59

Exhibitions

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

Details

Softcover , 24 pages

ISBN

3928342215

Language

German

Category

Group Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 8

Exhibitions

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

Publisher

Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln

Details

Softcover , 64 pages

ISBN

3883751413

Language

German

Category

Monographs
Artwork Discussed: pp. 17

Illustrated: p. 17 (b/w)
Zu Richters Oktober-Bildern Butin, Hubertus 1991

Publisher

Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main

Editor

Ammann, Jean-Christophe / Präger, Christmut

Details

Softcover , 137 pages

ISBN

3882704640

Language

German English

Category

Collections
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 55
Discussed: pp. 48
Museum für Moderne Kunst und Sammlung Ströher 1991

Publisher

Verlag Fred Jahn, München

Details

Hardback , 236 pages

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 10

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter: Atlas Zweite, Armin 1989

In

Du. Die Zeitschrift der Kultur

Issue

01 January 1989 , Vol. 49 , No. 2 , p. 99

Publisher

Du Kulturmedien, Zürich

ISBN

0012-6837

Language

German

Category

Newspaper Articles
Read Article

Notes

Reprinted in 'Presseberichte zu Gerhard Richter '18. Oktober 1977''.

Artwork Discussed: pp. 99
18. Oktober 1977 Ammann, Jean-Christophe 1989

Publisher

Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Details

Softcover , 166 pages

ISBN

9069180464

Language

Dutch English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
Artwork Mentioned: pp. 161
Discussed: pp. 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41
Illustrated: p. 83 (colour)

Exhibitions

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

1 Related publications

Title Author Date

Publisher

DuMont, Köln

Details

Hardback, 543 pages

ISBN

3832156291

Language

Category

Group Exhibitions
Zehn Jahre Museum für Moderne Kunst Bee, Andreas 2002