Düsseldorf: Galerie Schmela,  (12), 12,1×43,5 cm [full spread]. Threefold. Invite / programme for a week of one-day events, screenings and exhibitions (!) before the gallery moved to a new location. Participating artists were Joseph Beys w. Bjørn Nørgaard, John Latham, Konrad Lueg, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. A few pivotal projects were introduced including Beuys’ Manresa and most significantly Volker Bradke which is Richter’s first and only film-work screened at the eponymous exhibition. Original design. Very rare document.
Gerhard Richter’s Volker Bradke exhibition took place on 13th December 1966. On a floral wallpaper installed by Konrad Lueg, Richter displayed not only the painting but also around 30 photographs, a banner and a film, all focusing on Volker Bradke.
The principle of blurring – executed here by Richter in his characteristic manner – is apparent in the blurred photographs and is also transferred into the medium of film.
For Gerhard Richter and his artist friends, Volker Bradke embodied the conformist man in the street, who the artist lifts out of normality by representing him in a large-scale oil painting, in accordance with the ideas of Pop Art.
In the exhibition this approach is raised to the level of the staging of a personality cult: paintings, photographs, banner and film are dedicated to one person. However, in this case this staged “cult” does not refer to any famous person, but to the unknown Volker Bradke. Gerhard Richter challenges the meaning of the adoration of such so-called icons and unmasks the superficiality of celebrity culture. [gerhard-richter.com]
condition: Near Fine.