Gerhard Richter, the reigning king of postwar European painting, returns to New York for his first major U.S. retrospective since the Museum of Modern Art feted him in 2002. He’s 88 now, still hard at work: His longtime dealer Marian Goodman Gallery is concurrently hosting a show of new abstract paintings, the scintillating body of work that made him a market superstar (much to his consternation) over the past decade. The Met exhibition offers a chance to take in the full measure of his work, from his classic, ominous blurred figurative pieces of the 1960s, through his later luminous, intimate portraits of family members, right up to the present. There are fruitful forays off into sculpture, overpainted photographs, and drawing, too. The show also offers a fleeting opportunity to taste the full glories of the Met Breuer; this is the last major show that will be mounted there. Watch the superb 2011 documentary Gerhard Richter Painting (a self-explanatory title) to get excited for the festivities. —Andrew Russeth
Photo: Gerhard Richter, Cage 4, 2006. Tate: Lent from a private collection 2007. © Gerhard Richter 2019.