Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU
The exhibition can be visited from Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. It is also possible to make an individual appointment outside regular visiting hours.
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In the Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU exhibition pavilion, one of the editions of the "Birkenau" series is exhibited: four abstract compositions made using a unique technique of printing on metal plates, as well as an eight-meter gray mirror and copies of four photographs taken clandestinely by members of the Sonderkommando in 1944 near gas chamber and crematorium No. V in Birkenau.
These four photographs, taken clandestinely and risking their lives in 1944 by Sonderkommando prisoners, are considered the only photographic documents of the Holocaust depicting the murder and burning of the bodies of Jewish people in Auschwitz. For the painter Gerhard Richter, they served as the starting point and basis for the works "Images from Birkenau," created in 2014 - impressed by the impact these photos had on him years ago, he decided to revisit the subject by creating four large abstract paintings. Copies of the original artwork accompany the exhibition, one of which Gerhard Richter decided to donate to the International Auschwitz Committee in 2020 as a permanent deposit for display at the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim.
The Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU exhibition pavilion was designed by Gerhard Richter and Sabine Moritz-Richter. Its concept was developed in collaboration with Christoph Heubner, the International Auschwitz Committee, the Foundation for the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim, and the City of Oświęcim. The architectural project of the building by Gerhard Richter was supervised and executed by architect Edwin Heinz – GMS Architekten PartGmbB, Isny / Allgäu, and the architectural office Susuł & Strama Architekci, Oświęcim. The creation of the Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU pavilion was made possible thanks to a donation from Volkswagen AG.
Gerhard Richter is one of the most recognizable German artists. He works in painting, photography, and sculpture, often using photographs as a model for his paintings.