Critiquing ideologies

Ai Weiwei synthesizes the clash between reverence for the past and the irrepressible drive for the future.

The Case for Ai Weiwei

Gerhard Richter, September, 2005, oil on canvas, 52 cm x 72 cm (Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Richter revives the genre of history painting in the 21st century in this work showing the events of 9/11.

Gerhard Richter, September

Gerhard Richter, Betty, 1988, oil on canvas, 102 x 72cm (Saint Louis Art Museum)
Hyperreal paintings like “Betty” are just one part of Richter’s practice, which resists stylistic classification.

Gerhard Richter, Betty

Julie Mehretu, Stadia II
In this work, a contemporary Ethiopian artist explores the utopian potential of chaos in a globalizing world.

Julie Mehretu, Stadia II

Sigmar Polke, Bunnies - detail
Hugh Hefner turned women into objects, and Sigmar Polke turned those objects into dots.

Sigmar Polke, Bunnies

Gerhard Richter, Uncle Rudi, 1965, oil on canvas, 87 x 50 cm (Lidice Gallery, Lidice, Czech Republic) used with permission of the Gerhard Richter studio
Richter toys with both visual and ethical clarity in this evocative, ambiguous painting of an uncle lost to WWII.

Gerhard Richter, Uncle Rudi