Gerhard Richter. Räume Atlastafel 228, 1971
© Gerhard Richter 2023 (17072023)


Symposium | 17 July 2023 | Albertinum Dresden, Hermann-Glöckner-Raum | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | The conference language is English.


Gerhard Richter’s work has often been acknowledged for its use of multiple media. Though his renown is based on his painting, he is known to have engaged with photography, architecture, per-formance, sculpture, tapestry, and digital art. In this one-day symposium, three international guests will present and discuss Richter’s work for its use of the languages and forms of other media to challenge the limits of painting. Seen through the lenses of cinema and other media, speakers will offer new insights not only to Richter’s paintings, and also, to our un-derstanding of what it means to paint, what painting is, and what are its limits in an era when the demands made of painting are under constant reconsideration.

9:45 a.m.

Admission via Georg-Treu-Platz

10 a.m.

Screening: Gerhard Richter, Volker Bradke, 1966, 16 mm, s/w, 14:32 min.

10.45 a.m

Welcome and Moderation
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Schankweiler, Technische Universität Dresden

11 a. m.

Cinematic Portrait Painting of Death
Dr. Frances Guerin, University of Kent

11.45 a.m.

Rooms and Clouds: Gerhard Richter and Architecture
Prof. Ir.-Arch. Guy Châtel, Ghent University

12.30 p.m.


2 p.m. 

Gerhard Richter and digital painting
Dr. Aline Guillermet, University of Cambridge

2.45 p.m.

Discussion and questions

3.45 p.m.

Exhibition tour by Dr. Frances Guerin and Kerstin Küster

The symposium was initiated by Dr. Frances Guerin, currently Senior Fellow at Institut für Kunst- und Musikwissenschaft an der Technische Universität Dresden. The event is a cooperation of the TU Dresden, Dresden-concept and the Gerhard Richter Archive Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.


REGISTRATION / no participation fee:
+49 (0)351 49142000

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Livestream starting 17.07.2023, 10.45 a.m.


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Gerhard Richter: Painting by Other Means
Gerhard Richter: Painting by Other Means

Abstracts / Biographies

Dr. Frances Guerin, University of Kent

Guerin discuss the complex depictions of death—historical, real and imagined, of painting, the artist, the visitor, among others—in several of Richter’s paintings, particularly in their installation with mirrors and glass panels. On the canvas and in installation, visitors are pulled into a peripatetic experience of dynamically moving images until eventually, they experience a disruptive creation of new images. In Richter’s body of work, like the nebulous space of uncertainty between different media occupied by painting, the movement between death and revivification—if not redemption—never stops. Richter’s momento mori thrust a movement through time into the foreground. This play between these same concepts and depictions has been theorized as the preoccupation of the cinema in its earliest manifestations. In Richter’s cinematic visions of death executed in painting, we see a kinetic play between darkness and illumination, as a way to bring clarity through dark and blurry visions. Moreover, Guerin shows that we know this hazy peripatetic vision from Richter’s film Volker Bradke (1966).

Dr. Frances Guerin is a Fellow with Prof. Dr. Kerstin Schankweiler, Chair of Visual Culture Studies in a Global Context, from April 16 to July 16. Frances Guerin is a scholar, critic and writer. She holds a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University. She has taught film and visual culture at the University of Kent, Canterbury since 2001.

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Prof. Ir.-Arch. Guy Châtel, Ghent University

Gerhard Richter’s relation with architecture is complicated and ambiguous. Though he uses elementary architectural references and arrangements in his work, he expresses as much disgust as fascination with architecture in writings and interviews. This paper attempts to make sense of the remarkable appearance of “architectural drawings” in Atlas, and to figure out what these “Rooms” [Räume] stand for in relation to Richter’s oeuvre as a whole.

Guy Léon Châtel (*Ghent, 1956) is a civil engineer architect, emeritus professor at Ghent University, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning. He publishes on architecture and art. Books include Narcisse Tordoir, Labour and Production, 1987-1998 (co-edited with Adriaan Verwée, 2022), Luc Deleu – T.O.P office: Orban Space (co-edited with Wouter Davidts and Stefaan Vervoort, 2012) and The school as design assignment – school architecture in Flanders 1995-2005 (co-authored with Maarten Van Den Driessche, Bart Verschaffel e.a., 2006). He is currently working on a book about philosophy and architectural theory, Architecture as Form of the Real.

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Dr. Aline Guillermet, University of Cambridge

Gerhard Richter’s first digital works, the colour chart entitled 4,900 Colours and the Cologne Cathedral Window, were produced in collaboration with a computer programmer in 2007.  Since then, Richter has explored further the possibilities of the digital for painting with the Strip Paintings, a series of digitally-generated and digitally-printed works on paper begun in 2011. The question of how Richter’s interest in programming painting came about, however, has remained underexplored. In this paper, I nuance the narrative according to which Richter’s involvement with digital technologies first started in 2007. The new genealogy I present identifies a much earlier source of the artist’s interest in the digital, one that reaches back to his training years at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Richter, I will suggest, was exposed to the idea of programming painting even before it had become technically feasible, while studying in the class of the Informel painter K. O. Götz.   

Aline Guillermet is a tutor of History of Art at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge, and a former fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Aline’s research focuses on the impact of science and technology on artistic practices since the 1960s. Her recent publications include “K. O. Götz’s Kinetic Painting and the Imagined Affordance of Television” (Media Theory, 2019), and “Vera Molnar's Computer Paintings” (Representations, 2020). Her monograph Gerhard Richter and the Technological Condition of Painting is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press (2024).

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Prof. Dr. Kerstin Schankweiler, Technische Universität Dresden

Kerstin Schankweiler is Professor of Image Studies in a Global Context at the Institut für Kunst- und Musikwissenschaften at the Technische Universität Dresden. Her research focuses on digital visual cultures, art of the 20th and 21st centuries with a regional focus on African art, art history and transculturality, postcolonial theories and gender studies. She is co-editor of the review journal Kunstform and a member of the DFG network "Cultures of Aesthetic Resistance".



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