Gerhard Richter getting his first US museum survey in nearly 20 years

The Met Breuer will honor the German artist, described by art critic Adrian Searle as "the most complicated of painters," in the upcoming retrospective "Gerhard Richter: Painting After All."

This exhibition will reveal Richter's lifelong preoccupation with the dual means of representation and abstraction, spanning his six-decade career through some 100 works that include paintings, glass sculptures, prints and photographs.

These works from different periods will bring into focus Richter's enduring interest in how paintings are conceived and situated within a historical lineage, as the artist was born in 1932 during the Nazi era.

Among them are the recent series "Cage" and "Birkenau," which will both go on view in the United States for the first time.

The abstract compositions of "Birkenau" were inspired by documentary photographs of prisoners secretly taken in 1944 in the death camp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau, where about 1.1 million people died during World War II.

Meanwhile, the six paintings of "Cage" shine a new light on Richter's long-lasting experimentation with abstraction by referencing the work of American composer and philosopher John Cage.

Inspired by Cage's philosophy of "imitat[ing] nature in her manner of operation," Richter used similar principles of calculated incidents to meticulously compose his multi-layered paintings.

Also on show as part of "Gerhard Richter: Painting After All" will be iconic works by Richter such as "Uncle Rudi," "Betty," and "September," which will be presented alongside lesser-known pieces like his early series "Elbe."

Fans of the German artist will also have the opportunity to discover the new glass works "Grey Mirrors" and "House of Cards," both of which will debut at Met Breuer.

"In Richter's work we can see a powerful reckoning with history and memory -- on both collective and personal terms -- and a demonstration of the ways that art can affect perception and challenge our perspectives. This show is sure to be a remarkable tour de force," Max Hollein, Director of The Met, said in a statement ahead of the retrospective.

"Gerhard Richter: Painting After All" will be on view from March 4 through July 5 at New York's Met Breuer, before traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (from August 15 through January 19, 2021).