Gerhard Richter Is Selling Over $1 Million of His Art to Help Build 100 Houses for the Homeless

artnet News | Kate Brown

A major donation from Germany’s most famous—and most expensive—living artist, Gerhard Richter, will help finance the construction of 100 units of permanent housing for the homeless in the North Rhine-Westphalia of Germany, a region that encompasses Düsseldorf and Cologne. The works—a special edition of color offsets from 2015 that are part of Richter’s ongoing series “Cage f.ff”—are available as three sets of six. They are being offered by fiftyfifty, a gallery that also produces a magazine for the homeless. The hand-signed works are priced at €420,000 ($493,080). They may also be bid on individually through fiftyfifty’s website. All told, the sale is expected to generate €1 million to €1.2 million for the Housing First Fund, which seeks to provide people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing. Richter’s donation will be augmented by €424,000 ($497,477) in state funding, North Rhine-Westphalia announced on Wednesday.

After fiftyfifty launched Housing First in 2014, it began buying up real estate in Düsseldorf to rent to homeless people throughout the city, giving them their own leases and helping them with furnishings. The organization has previously offered editions by artists including Andreas Gursky and Jeff Koons. Richter also donated works to the initiative in 2015. “Years ago, we explained the concept for housing the homeless to Richter,” says Julia von Lindern, the head of the Housing First project at fiftyfifty. “Right away, he was sure that it could work and the benefit of the sale of his works could and should be spent on the apartment project. That was the beginning. Now we are trying to transform that idea around the larger region.”…read more

Image: ARNO BURGI/AFP/Getty Images.