Gerhard Richter’’s JFK assassination portraits to be shown for first time

December 12th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 12 (ANI): German artist Gerhard Richters portraits painted in regard to the assassination of President Kennedy will be shown at the National Portrait Gallery’’s flagship spring exhibition for the first time ever.

The collection has one painting of Jacqueline Kennedy being consoled by President Johnson, another of her clutching an umbrella and looking shocked, and a third of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

The first painting has never before been exhibited in public, and as per curator Paul Moorhouse it was a private working proof that Richter created it while forming his ideas for the other two, which he had intended to display.

Richter, who is widely regarded to be at par with Lucian Freud and as one of the world’’s greatest living painters, had given an explanatory title to the first painting, but of the other two he gave no title.

Moorhouse said of the painting of Mrs Kennedy holding an umbrella that it was left up to the viewers imagination as to who the person is.

Who is she? She could be someone standing at a bus stop, the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The curator explained why the elusive Richter wanted to keep people guessing.

What he is really doing in all his work is trying to describe the world, but concluding, You can”t. You are only confronted with the appearance of things, and you can”t get beyond that, he said.

All three portraits were based on newspaper photographs following President Kennedy’’s assassination in 1963.

Gerhard Richter Portraits, a three-month exhibition of some 35 paintings, opens at the London gallery on February 26. (ANI)

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