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
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