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At the end of the 1990s Richter started to create the first series of his famous „Schwarz, Rot, Gold“ paintings (from which Schwarz, rot, gold from 1999 was auctioned at Sotheby´s New York, in November 2014 for $365,000). For these –at the beginning- small-scale works he applied black, red, and gold resin painting in vertical stripes directly on glass.
"I wasn’t commissioned to depict the German flag. I was stimulated by the theme, even though Palermo existed and that famous flag by Jasper Johns." — Gerhard Richter
In reminiscence of these glass paintings “Schwarz, Rot, Gold” and the large-size “Schwarz, Rot, Gold”, which he composed for the German Bundestag in 1999, he chose the same motive for this limited edition. The edition was published to celebrate the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the German reunion. The colors from this series recall the three colors of the German flag. However, the vertical order of the stripes as well as the reflective surface of the glass shows the innovative character of the work.
The Schwarz - Rot - Gold IV editions have been exhibited at the Gerhard Richter: Neue Bilder exhibition, at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne (February - May 2017), and Gerhard Richter: Die Editionen exhibition at the Folkwang Museum, in Essen (April - July 2017).