Benjamin H. D. Buchloh

Daimler Fellow - Class of Fall 2009

Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Modern Art, Harvard University

American Academy Project: Gerhard Richter: Painting after the Subject of History
Current Institution Affiliation: Harvard University
Current Location: Massachusetts


Benjamin Buchloh has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Modern Art at Harvard University since 2006. He is internationally recognized today as one of the most important scholars of post-1945 art. An expert in the largely isolated artistic cultures of American and European modernism, Buchloh’s work has broadened the canonical history of modern art beyond an American perspective. He was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Contemporary Art History and Criticism at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and is the recipient of numerous other grants, including Getty, CASVA, and Lehman Foundation fellowships. He is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At the Academy, Buchloh will be working on a monograph of Gerhard Richter, an artist whose body of work arguably ranks among the most complex produced since the 1960s and whose worldwide reputation derives in part from Buchloh's writings over the past 20 years. Richter’s work is uniquely tied both to the totalitarianism of the Third Reich and the German Democratic Republic, as well as to the capitalism of post-war Germany. Buchloh’s monograph aims at presenting the long-awaited integrated view of the intertwinement of Richter’s representational work that engaged with the ‘memory crisis’ of Postwar Germany, and the universal presence of abstraction in his oeuvre, which necessitates a detailed formal analysis and is largely the source of its international appeal.

American Academy Project

Gerhard Richter: Painting after the Subject of History

Lecture Summary

Published in Humanities

Memory Images and German Disavowal, 1965

The work of Dresden-born artist Gerhard Richter spans nearly five decades and media from painting to photography; sculpture to bricolage; drawings to over-painted gelatin prints. His towering oevre has tackled the postwar German culture of memory, paving the way for new aesthetic strategies of historical confrontation. »