The International Auschwitz Committee, the City of Oświęcim and the Foundation for the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim/Auschwitz invite to the inauguration of the exhibition building Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU.
The opening of the exhibition will take place on 28 February at 5 p.m. at the International Youth Meeting Centre in Oświęcim.
The opening will be accompanied by a lecture by dr Delfiny Jałowik, introducing the Birkenau series.
In 2020 Gerhard Richter decided to place a special edition of his Birkenau series on permanent loan to the International Auschwitz Committee for an exhibition in Oświęcim. The idea for the Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU exhibition hall in Oświęcim
was developed by Christoph Heubner, writer and executive vicepresident IAC, with Gerhard Richter and his wife Sabine Moritz-Richter in cooperation with the International Auschwitz Committee, the International Youth Meeting Centre Foundation in Oświęcim / Auschwitz, and the city of Oświęcim in 2020. Gerhard Richter’s architectural design was supervised and realized by the architect Edwin Heinz – GMS Architekten PartGmbB, Isny / Allgäu and the office of Susuł & Strama Architekci, Oświęcim. The Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU exhibition pavilion was entirely funded by a donation from Volkswagen AG.
The exhibition building presents an edition of the Birkenau series: four abstract compositions, made in the unique technique of printing on metal plates, as well as an eight-metre-long grey mirror and copies of four photographs taken secretly by members of the Sonderkommando in 1944 near gas chamber and crematorium 5 at Birkenau.
These four photographs, taken secretly and at the risk of their lives in 1944 by Sonderkommando prisoners, are regarded as the only photographic documents of the Holocaust to record the murder and burning of the corpses of the Jewish population at Auschwitz. For the painter Gerhard Richter, they formed the starting point and basis of his Birkenau series, created in 2014. Impressed all those years ago by these photographs, he decided to return to the subject by creating four abstract, large-scale paintings, which have already been shown in Dresden, Berlin, Moscow and New York, among others.