He was born into a German family in the city of Dresden in 1932. ©2021 The Art Story Foundation. January 26, 2010, By Sonic Youth bank for their album: Daydream Nation (1988). Richter himself worked as a photographer's assistant developing photos when he was young (or so he has said). His photoportraits make us conscious not only of the loss of reality in images, but also of the reality of loss that Richter, as a child of Germany's zero hour, had to confront. The Weimar Republic was collapsing and the Nazis were taking power. Gerhard Richter’s newly unveiled stained-glass windows at an abbey in South Germany are his last major work, completing one of the most important oeuvres of the 20 th and 21 st centuries.. Gerhard Richter, ABSTRAKTES BILD (649-2), 1987.Courtesy Sotheby's Hong Kong. The painting's many layers, strokes, and scrapes of color may thus appear as "beautiful" as anything found in nature that came into existence partly according to a predetermined structure (such as DNA), as well as by way of unpredictable occasions of pure chance and the action of outside forces. To explore the artist's work and life, click on an image below. The sense that reality is unknowable (and, so, unrepresentable) reinforces the special relationship that Richter's paintings have with death. See available prints and multiples, paintings, and photographs for sale and learn about the artist. Nor could he embrace the anti-art ideals of Beuys and the Fluxus group, which were deeply hostile to his form of studio practice. Gerhard Richter (born February 9, 1932) is one of the world's most celebrated living artists. That painting was dead or dying soon became a critical cliche, one repeated throughout the 20th century. It also has more recent, specifically German, antecedents. The pet simpering on his knee makes him all the more grotesque. His father and uncles were all forced into military service in World War II. ", Richter has resisted attempts to use biography to prise "meaning" from his work. It is an idea that has haunted Gerhard Richter during a 50-year painting career that "officially began", as he tells it, with a photograph. Schopenhauer reprised Kant's theory, speaking of the world as mere "representation". Like Richter's other figurative paintings it is taken from a photograph - in this case a family snap of her, a shy teenage girl, proudly holding her baby nephew, the four-month-old Gerhard Richter. Photo by Benjamin Katz. Gerhard Richter – Kölner Domfenster (Cologne Cathedral Window), 2007, 11,000 hand blown glass panels, 72 colors and shades, 9.6 x 9.6 cm each, total size 2300 x 900 cm (106 sqm), photo: CC BY-NC 2.0 by Second-Half Travels Gerhard Richter Gerhard Richter to donate works for a room devoted to his art in new Berlin museum. New York Magazine / Paintings of Mustang bombers and Phantom Interceptors that Richter produced in the mid-60s, together with his aerial views of European cities in oils and lithographs, evoke the nights of February 1945, when Dresden (100km from Waltersdorf) burned under 4,000 tonnes of US explosives. This act of visual compression, in which photography, projection, and painting merge to make a finished art work, suggests that all vision is a kind of conversion of the "real" into the "imaginary.". It has haunted him precisely because of how well he paints. “Because style … For Decades, the Artist Gerhard Richter Has Plumbed the Depths of the German Soul in Increasingly Abstract Ways. Gerhard Richter, Cologne, 1984. Reproductions in the Dresden library stopped at impressionism. His subjects soon become ghosts Selbstportrait (Self … Notably, some of Richter's relatives were directly involved in the Nazi movement, namely his father, a schoolteacher, and an uncle. His efforts in … As a play on the term social realism, the artists of the movement included Gerhard Richter of whom’s work the Lab currently features. Mund is one of Richter's first paintings completed from a photograph. ", "I'm still very sure that painting is one of the most basic human capacities, like dancing and singing, that make sense, that stay with us, as something human. Gerhard Richter is a contemporary German painter considered among the most influential living artists. In a series of completely abstract works of the early 1990s, Richter challenges the eye of the viewer to detect anything in the field of vision other than the pure elements of his art: color, gesture, the layering of pasty materials, and the artist's impersonal raking of these concoctions in various ways that allow chance combinations to emerge from the surface. But his willingness to accede to the dogmas of socialist realism crumbled as he discovered the alternative styles thriving across the border. His clarity of vision also varies. With a career spanning nearly six decades, Gerhard Richter is widely considered one of the greatest artists of our time. Moorhouse has taken pains to draw attention to the philosophical dimensions of Richter's style. Through his photo portraits he developed a "styleless" style - that is, a way to continue painting without capitulating to authority or asserting it himself. Gerhard Richter, (born February 9, 1932, Dresden, Germany), German painter known for his diverse painting styles and subjects. From the age of 16, he was determined to become a painter: his first art-related job involved producing communist banners. ", "Every museum is full of nice things. The Gerhard Richter Archive was established in Dresden in 2006, and the artist himself has published two catalogue raisonnés. In 1960, he fled with his first wife, Ema, to Düsseldorf and enrolled in the city's art academy, where Joseph Beuys had just begun to teach. Richter has described and demystified his method: he projects copies of photos on to canvas, traces them in pencil, then fills them out in paint. Nietzsche, in whose work Richter immersed himself as a teenager, drove the process to its conclusion, doing away with essence all together. Richter increasingly employed his own painting as a means for exploring how images that appear to capture "truth" often prove, on extended viewing, far less objective, or unsure in meaning, than originally assumed. Gerhard Richter has completed his final major artwork, according to the artist himself. Alongside such artists as Manfred Kuttner, Sigmar Polke, and Konrad Lueg, Capital Realism was action and reaction to a Germany’s division between East and West. Richter's language echoes doubts about human knowledge that are as old as Plato's allegory of the cave. He has never fully abandoned the desire to paint "the things one sees and which exist" that was instilled in him during these years. In 1946, his father straggled home from a Russian prisoner-of-war camp, and was barred from teaching under the new de-Nazification laws. His two uncles were killed in the war and his father served, but survived. He is widely regarded as one of the most important contemporary German artists and several of his works have set record prices at auction. Gerhard Richter is a German painter who originally trained in a realist style and later developed an appreciation for the more progressive work of his American and European contemporaries. His schizophrenic aunt, Marianne, was murdered by the Nazis as part of their drive to euthanize the sick. The portraits at the National Portrait Gallery lack style in the sense that each has been copied from an automatic, mechanically reproducible medium. What kind of solution did photos offer? Das Potsdamer Museum Barberini zeigt in einer wunderbaren neuen Ausstellung mehr als neunzig Werke des Künstlers Gerhard Richter. Richter borrows much of his painted imagery from newspapers, or even his own family albums. All Rights Reserved, The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings 1962-1993, Gerhard Richter Portraits: Painting Appearances, Call To Order - Robert Storr Discusses Gerhard Richter Exhibition, Gerhard Richter: 'A Painter In A Photographic Age', Mund(Mouth)(Brigitte Bardot's Lips) (1963). Horst with Dog (1964), also in the show, is a photo portrait in black and white in which Richter's father, identified only by his first name, appears obscured by horizontal streaks like lines of TV static. Richter was born in Dresden the year before Hitler came to power and after the war he was an art student in communist East Germany. But I don't know that. The agnosticism, realised in the photoportraits, also applies to Richter's abstractions, or to the panes of glass and tinted mirrors for which he is famous. He has worked primarily as a painter exploring both photorealistic methods and abstract works. Several paintings in the current exhibition reflect Richter's sense of belonging, literally and spiritually, to a "fatherless" generation. Particularly when set beside the Vermeer-like perfection of the few that Richter spares, the "blurred" and gashed canvases evoke the strength of conviction that it must take to mar them. Photograph: National Portrait Gallery. Gerhard Richter is known for a prolific and stylistically varied exploration of the medium of painting, often incorporating and exploring the visual effects of photography. [Internet]. The work suggests the artist viewing reality from a detached perspective, as he resists any moment of clear focus on the overall image. It was important things or serious things. In 1959, he travelled to Kassell in West Germany to attend the second Documenta exhibition, which presented a wide range of modernist work. In 1948, at the age of 16, Richter quit his formal education and took up an apprenticeship as a set painter for the theater. Gerhard Richter has been in the art business for a long time, and time has shown that his paintings are not made to match any particular style, but they are nonetheless idiosyncratic. Yet it is clear his experiences growing up under two totalitarian regimes helped shape the commitment to "continual uncertainty" that characterises his aesthetics. He found he could not fully commit to gestural abstraction, which to him seemed to rely too much on the artist's subjectivity. The photo paintings of the 60s drew almost as a record, and thus as a commentary upon magazines, film stills, dusty family albums and newspaper clippings. For this reason, among others, it is far better to paint a portrait from a photograph." What can we do? In the mid-1970s, Gerhard Richter began making large, colorful, tactile abstract paintings whose sketchy, rough, and blurry effects make us aware of the tools and techniques used and the complicated pictorial thinking involved. While his father, like most government functionaries, joined the Nazi party and fought on the eastern front, the young artist remained a step removed. Richter has produced abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and glass pieces. In an interview in the mid-60s, he asserted: "A portrait can never come closer to the sitter than when it is a very good likeness. “I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings,” he says. The other common themes in his work are the elements of chance, and the play between realism and abstraction. Richter would often blur his subjects and embrace chance effects in his own painting process in order to show the impossibility of any artist conveying the full truth of a subject in its original condition. Such means for suggesting that something essential to the model has been "lost in translation" often leads a viewer's attention to the oil pigment's dense, material nature, thereby demonstrating both its expressive strengths and shortcomings. He has lived and worked in Germany his entire life. For a time, he flourished. September 9, 2010, By Jerry Saltz / Paul Moorhouse, the curator of the show at the National Portrait Gallery, has made the wager that Richter's work, in all its modes - from exquisitely realistic renderings to pure abstractions such as the 4900 Colours shown at the Serpentine last autumn - possesses a nebulous coherence. The results are diverse. The wake of war proved traumatic for Richter: two of his uncles had been killed in action, and his father had lost his employment. Here’s Which Bodies of Work Are Thriving Market insiders say Richter's market is actually composed of a number of submarkets. He has painted both black and white and colour portraits - of celebrities, such as Jackie Kennedy or Queen Elizabeth; anonymous individuals; and some family members, close friends and professional associates. Gerhard Richter's photo-inspired paintings are as dazzlingly beautiful as they are enigmatic. “Because style … Kant set out the axiom that we can never know "things in themselves", but only how they appear in experience. Gerhard Richter began his life in an age of totalitarian control. This fine volume gathers together these works going back to their first appearance in the late 1980s, and discusses in depth his techniques and approaches in making these small mixed media … Yet the experience for the East-German born artist was key, as it spurred him on to develop and drive forward both figurative and abstract painting in a way few in the West could have achieved or even conceived. 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