There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Mission of Burma’s “This Is Not a Photograph” could be German painter Gerhard Richter’s theme song. Since leaving East Germany in 1961, he’s painted images derived from photos, working from blurred originals or even abstracting them by painting, photographing, and then painting again. Some of his work is purely abstract, but much has political resonance, notably October 18, 1977, a series of 15 grisaille paintings based on news photos of members of the left-wing Baader-Meinhof group who died under mysterious circumstances in a German prison. Michael Blackwood’s documentary Gerhard Richter: Four Decades follows the painter through his 2002 Museum of Modern Art retrospective, which just opened at the Hirshhorn. It screens with Richter’s own Volker Bradke, a 20-minute black-and-white film that was part of a conceptual 1966 show that prankishly attempted to transform the nerdy BradkeRichter’s assistant at the timeinto an iconic figure. The films screen at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-2700 (Mark Jenkins)