"Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting" is the first full-scale retrospective of the German artist's work to hit U.S. museums, and only the third American museum show of any kind to feature him. It was organized and launched at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is now making its final stop in Washington.

The exhibition includes major works spanning his career. It features series such as his "Eight Student Nurses," his "48 Portraits" -- based on photos of famous men copied from an old encyclopedia -- his "October 18, 1977" paintings of the Baader- Meinhof terrorists, and his famous soft-focus copy of Titian's "Annunciation" as well as major examples of his squeegeed abstractions and his recent portraits of his wife and child.

Today at 3 p.m. in the Hirshhorn's auditorium, exhibition curator Robert Storr, formerly of MoMA but now at New York University, will be delivering a lecture titled "Richter's Wager." Philip Brookman, of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, will be lecturing on Richter's photography March 23, same place and time.

An illustrated catalogue, with an extensive essay by Storr, is available for $75 hardbound, $39.95 in paperback.

The exhibition continues at the Hirshhorn Museum, on the south side of the Mall at Seventh Street SW, through May 18. The Hirshhorn is open daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and admission is free. For information call 202-357-2700 or visit www.hirshhorn.si.edu.

Gerhard Richter's famous soft-focus "Annunciation After Titian."