This year marks the 80th birthday of abstract German painter Gerhard Richter, and London’s Tate Modern is paying homage with “Gerhard Richter: Panorama,” an expansive retrospective of the artist’s career across the past five decades. Richter’s work can’t easily be pegged to one aesthetic, and the exhibit (opening October 6) — featuring photograph-based portraits, landscapes, glass constructions, works on paper and color charts—displays the full range of his often politically-charged collection.
Standouts include October 18, 1977, a series of 15 black-and-white paintings dealing with Richter’s intrigue with the German terrorist organization, the Baader Meinhof (Red Army Faction). There’s also a 65-foot color square, Stroke of 1980, part of his abstract color chart sequence, being shown for the first time outside Germany. The exhibit is also a fitting platform for the Tate Modern’s new director, Chris Dercon, freshly arrived from Munich’s Haus der Kunst. Dercon hopes to “create a new kind of art institution, fit for the 21st century.” Like Richter, Dercon will attempt to make people view the world differently using a unique visual language.
New in London
After taking in the conceptual banquet of Gerhard Richter at the Tate Modern, sample some of London’s newest offerings:
Shop: The new concept boutique LN-CC carries avant-garde men’s and women’s designers like Martin Margiela, Junya Watanabe and Ann Demeulemeester in its 7-room basement-level space. Also on offer are vintage vinyl records from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and an excellent, hard-to-find collection of art, fashion and photography books. 18 Shacklewell Lane; 44-20-374-0741.
Eat: Heston Blumenthal’s buzzy restaurant, Dinner, opened in February at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and has become one of the hottest tables to snag in the city. Bizarrely-named menu items (Meat Fruit, Powdered Duck) add to the hip factor. 66 Knightsbridge; 44-20-7201-3833.
Stay: The Dorchester Collection’s
newest property is the month-old 45 Park Lane. Designed by Thierry
Despont (Claridge’s, The Carlyle) and housed in the former London Playboy Club,
the hotel features views of Hyde Park and Cut restaurant—Wolfgang Puck’s first
foray into Europe.
Guestblogger John Wogan is a regular contributor to TravelandLeisure.com