Gerhard Richter at The Tate Modern

Jan 2nd 2012 | 0 COMMENTS

Apologies to The Tate Modern for taking a forbidden photograph at the ‘Panorama’ retrospective for Gerhard Richter. To be honest though I have never understood why a gallery would stop people from taking photographs at exhibitions. I think it’s an over reaction on the part of the galleries and an unrealistic fear of theft. And yes I totally understand that they rely on the sales form the shop and that you can use very good cameras these days and blah blah blah…

Personally my experience of art galleries has always been a place for an educational experience and a part of all educational process is taking notes. I see more positive aspects in allowing people to take a snapshot of an image that inspires them so that they can have it with them or use as inspiration in the future. In the grand scheme of things there are so many hundreds of thousands of images in galleries and so many books available why spoil peoples enjoyment of the work by forcing them to memorize it or spend more money. Make the art accessible. Please. I have always been happy to buy a book or a souvenir and on the continent where no one ever seems to stop anyone with a camera in a gallery I still take a photos at times to make a note as well as buying some version of an image that inspires.

With regards to the exhibition itself I think the sheer volume of ideas covered seemed to confuse the work quite a bit and I’m not sure it was a successful retrospective in terms of enjoying his work. It’s possibly best enjoyed in chunks rather than in one pass. However 99% time we only ever get to see something once and this to me was not a great show. I preferred ‘Atlas’ when it was shown in the Whitechapel a few years ago. Atlas was huge but it seemed more in tune with a pattern and had an arc to it that could be followed.

Panorama is well worth a visit but I would say treat it as a flick through his work and spend more time on the rooms that you engage with rather than the entire journey. My overriding memory of this show is that it was one long siege with his ability to make beautiful marks on the canvas. In keeping with much modern art the idea seemed to be more important than the aesthetic but despite this attempt to keep ‘The Idea’ as a holy state of affairs Richters aesthetic abilities shone through.


About Conor

Conor is a photographer and film maker based in London. His images can be viewed on his website on the PHOTOGRAPHY and FILM links above. This blog is a good place to see all sorts of personal work and general projects in progress.

Twitter /

Follow Me


Recent Comments

Conor on Graham Hopkins Drummer with The Frames
"Hi Greg
There is something in the pipeline and it will definitely include some rockin ..."
greg on Graham Hopkins Drummer with The Frames
"is this a concert film that will get released in any form?"