The canonical painter Gerhard Richter will sell 18 works from his 2015 series, “Cage f.ff,” in an online auction hosted by Düsseldorf gallery fiftyfifty. With each work priced at €420,000, the sale is expected to generate at least €1 million for the construction of 100 apartment units which will serve as permanent housing for the homeless in cities like Düsseldorf and Cologne. The gift took place through fiftyfifty’s Housing First Fund, an initiative that auctions off donations by contemporary artists such as Richter, Andreas Gursky, and Jeff Koons in order to help homeless residents find leases and furniture.
“Years ago, we explained the concept for housing the homeless to Richter,” Julia von Lindern, the head of the Housing First project at fiftyfifty, told artnet News. “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,” she added. Richter, who's wealth was estimated to be around €700 million last year, also donated artwork to the initiative in 2015.