Almine Rech Gallery, one of Paris’s foremost galleries, opened its first New York location more than a year ago on the Upper East Side, bringing with it a unique program that mixes a strong artist roster with a consistently adventurous curatorial project. For its most recent venture, the gallery has brought together key figures from the canon of 20th century Western art for Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go. Adapting its title from a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the exhibition investigates ways artists use text as an allegorical element. Serving as a chronological and thematic starting point to the exhibition is Être ou ne pas être, Picasso’s 1912 painting considered as one of the foremost examples of appropriation of text in modern painting. Declaring “to be or not be” in French with gouache on paper, Picasso not only pays homage to one of the most emblematic texts ever written, but he also questions the mimetic essence of a painting. Can a painting of words serve to depict an image?
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Marian Goodman Gallery, New York & Paris
Kunstakademie, Dresden, Germany
Kunstakademie, Dusseldorf, Germany
Richter, born in Germany, received his first artistic training at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Dusseldorf from Karl Otto Gotz in the early 1960s. Around the same time, he began interacting with other emerging artists like Sigmar Polke and Konrad Fischer-Lueg with whom he’d later form the group called the Capitalist Realists, a group centered on satire, inspired by current political conditions.
In 1963, he held his first solo exhibition at Mobelhaus Berges in Dusseldorf, unveiling his highly nostalgic photo-derived style of painting. His first exhibit in U.S. was held in 1973. Fifteen years later, he received his first North American retrospective by the Art Gallery of Ontario and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibited a retrospective of his work in 2001 called “Forty Years of Painting”. The work featured showed the artist’s range and diversity within his catalog, especially between his early dark, blurred works with his later abstract paintings, some of which had a brilliant palette.
He has received numerous awards, including Japan’s Praemium Imperiale Award, the Wolf Prize from Israel’s Wolf Foundation, the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, the Arnold Bode Prize and Junger Wester Art Prize.