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Gerhard Richter: Bahnhof Hannover - Signed Print

Bahnhof Hannover
Signed Print

Gerhard Richter


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Lithograph, 1967
Signed Print Edition of 170
H 48cm x W 58cm

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Critical Review

Bahnhof Hannover depicts its named subject matter: the main train station, or Hauptbahnhof, of the West German city of Hanover. Painted after a postcard, bought by Richter during his travels in his adoptive country of West Germany during the 1960s, the work is testament to the close relationship between the artist’s paintings and photography. Similar to the historical portraits Richter completed during this period, such as Elisabeth II (1966) and Mao (1968), the work is blurred; partially obscured as if to mimic the infallibility of human memory, blurring accords the work a sense of gravity and personal or historical importance. One particular copy of the work features a hand-written dedication in pencil: Herzliche Grüße aus Hannover! (Warmest wishes from Hanover!).

In this work, we see Richter explore the material and architectural reality of his new environment. Indexing his surroundings by visual means, the work is part of the personal and artistic enterprise that constitutes Richter’s Atlas: a large-scale assemblage of found images of art historical, historical, and personal significance that has formed the referential basis of many of Richter’s paintings. Just 6 years prior to the creation of this work, Richter made his life-changing escape from East Germany to West Germany. Moving to the affluent city of Düsseldorf, Richter revolted against his prior training in socialist realist art, which he had received at the strictly ideological Dresden Academy, later co-founding the ‘Capitalist Realist’ style with Sigmund Polke and Konrad Fisher.

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