The National Gallery's collection features several important works by Hans-Peter Feldmann. The artist recently made a donation to the National Gallery of his key work, Die Toten ('The Dead').
In 1967 Benno Ohnesorg was shot dead at a demonstration in West Berlin. The escalation of violence and terrorism in the years that followed led to more than 100 people loosing their lives. The full scale of this violence and the true death toll has never really sunk into the public consciousness.
Starting in the late 1960s, Hans-Peter Feldmann spent years collecting images of the dead, culled from print media with near archival fastidiousness. The photocopies of newspaper photographs on grey A3 sheets bear depictions of police officers, hostages, terrorists and members of the general public who all lost their lives. A legend under each picture gives the names and the dates on which the individuals died. Additional information is provided separately as to the age, status and cause of death of the deceased.
In this work, the artist aims 'to view the events of the recent past from a certain distance and to draw attention to the sheer scale of events.' The work thus directly confronts viewers with the deaths of real people as a consequence of terror.