Current language: English

Michael Müller: Am Abgrund der Bilder

In a direct confrontation with Gerhard Richter's "Birkenau" cycle, the artist Michael Müller deals with the question of the representability of the Holocaust and the artistic approach to evil in an exhibition at Berlin's St. Matthew's Church.

Can the horror of the Holocaust be shown in art? Gerhard Richter's 2014 "Birkenau" cycle - four abstract overpaintings of photorealistic paintings based on photographs from Auschwitz-Birkenau - is considered the most important artistic engagement with the subject. In a 16-part work, German-British artist Michael Müller interrogates Richter's oeuvre, uncovering its layers and revealing mechanisms that, when examined and analyzed closely, leave room for discussion.

"At the Abyss of Images": Dialogue with the Works of Gerhard Richter

The works in the exhibition raise fundamental questions about artistic forms and limits of the representability of singular events and the relationship between photography and painting, reality and representation, representationalism and abstraction. They present alternative forms of artistic engagement with the Holocaust, refraining from a definitive, final answer, but creating a space of openness that allows and facilitates a discussion that must be constantly conducted and continually updated. In dialogue with the works of Gerhard Richter, Müller's works call for an examination of the question of appropriate forms of remembrance.

Exhibition in in St. Matthew's Church

Created between 2013 and 2022, the complex of works by Michael Müller shown in the exhibition at St. Matthew's Church (St.-Mathäus-Kirche) is intensively devoted to the question of the possibilities and impossibilities of an artistic approach to the Holocaust and its representability by artistic means. A theme that has been repeated in Müller's oeuvre for some time, but here finds a new, heightened intensity and focus. The individual works are united by the fact that they are a questioning from different analytical directions, from different perspectives and in a wide spectrum of artistic media - painting, sculpture, photography, text and concept - , and refer only to the openness of the questioning, the progress of knowledge through constant, current examination.

At a Glance

Michael Müller: Am Abgrund der Bilder
St. Matthäus Kirche
23 April 2023
3 September 2023
Opening Hours
Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed April 17-21)
Admission Fee

St. Matthäus-Kirche

A map view follows. Skip map

City map

End of map view

10785 Berlin

Public transportation

Related Content

Gerhard Richter: Gemäldeserie «Birkenau»

Gerhard Richter: 100 Works for Berlin

April 01, 2023 - 2026

The painter, sculptor and photographer Gerhard Richter has donated 100 of his works of art to the National Gallery in Berlin. Visitors will have the opportunity to view these works in their entirety for the first time.  more

Source: Stiftung St. Matthäus/edited BerlinOnline

Last edited: 4 September 2023