AboutGerhard Richter (born Dresden, 1932) is one of the world's greatest living artists. Since the early 1960s he has tirelessly explored the medium of painting at a time when many were heralding its death. He has produced a remarkably varied body of work, including photography-based portrait, landscape and still-life paintings; gestural and monochrome abstractions; and colour chart grid paintings. This autumn, the Serpentine presents 4900 Colours, a major new work comprising bright monochrome squares randomly arranged in a grid formation to create stunning sheets of kaleidoscopic colour.
4900 Colours comprises 196 square panels of 25 coloured squares that can be reconfigured in a number of variations, from one large-scale piece to multiple, smaller paintings. Richter has developed a new version especially for the Serpentine Gallery exhibition: 4900 Colours: Version II, formed of 49 paintings of 100 squares.
4900 Colours is in the context of Richter's design for the south transept window of Cologne Cathedral, which replaced the stained glass that was destroyed in World War II. Cathedral Window, unveiled in August 2007, comprises 11,500 hand-blown squares of glass in 72 colours that are derived from the palette of the original medieval glazing.