"Am Abgrund der Bilder – 'Birkenau'" Ernstes Spiel – Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 4.1

Volume 4.1 of the catalogue raisonné presents a group of works that comment on four paintings by Gerhard Richter entitled “Birkenau” and attempt to come to terms with a cruel historical fact in the infamous extermination camp of the same name, Auschwitz II/Birkenau. As direct as Müller’s critical comments on Richter’s paintings may be, they are accompanied by many less conspicuous, quieter, even wounded works which were on view at the Museum im Kulturspeicher Würzburg in the winter of 2022/23 and at St. Matthew’s Church in Berlin’s Kulturforum in 2023.

The thematic focus of both exhibitions was the so-called “Sonderkommando,” a group of forced laborers and segregated Jewish prisoners who had to assist the murder of their fellow human beings under the constant threat of death and supervision by the SS from 1942 to 1944/45. The book documents Michael Müller’s artistic confrontation with this demanding historical fact and contextualizes it in a long essay by the art historian Lukas Töpfer. A text contribution by Anne-Marie Bonnet deals with the differences in the two solo exhibitions in which the group of works was presented and addresses the site-specific characteristics of the presentations.

Edited by Alien Athena Foundation for Art, H. von Amelunxen, A.-M. Bonnet, G. Heschl and L. Töpfer
With contributions by Lukas Töpfer, Anne-Marie Bonnet and Gero Heschl


Deutscher Kunstverlag / De Gruyter, Berlin 2024

German, English and Chinese
Main Content
320 pages, 108 color illustrations