Abstraktes Bild 776-1

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  • Provenance

    Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London
    Private Collection
    Phillips, London, 10 February 2014, lot 15
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Tokyo, Fuji Television Gallery, 5 European Artists (Baselitz, Clemente, Kiefer, Kounellis, Richter), September – October, 1994

  • Literature

    B. Buchloh, Gerhard Richter, Werkubersicht/Catalogue Raissone, vol. 3: 1962-1993, Ostfildern-Ruit 1993, no. 776-1, n.p. (illustrated)
    Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter Catalogue Raisonne. Volume 4. Nos. 652-1-805-6. 1988-1994, Ostfildern 2015, no. 776-1, p. 490 (illustrated)
    Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ed., Gerhard Richter, Werkübersicht/ Catalogue Raisonné 1962 - 1993 vol. III, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1993, no. 776-1, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Executed in 1992, Abstraktes Bild 776-1 exemplifies the purest articulation of Richter’s finest period of abstraction “the culmination of a rigorous life-long investigation into the possibilities and limitations of painting” (Ulrich Wilmes quoted in Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 4 1988-1994, Ostfildern, 2015, p. 22). Richter utilises a squeegee, his trademark method, to create sinuous columns of radiant Prussian blue fused with vivid chartreuse rippling down the canvas. The glistening ribbons of brilliant colour contrast with the more subdued violet background to form an eye-catching interplay of light and texture, tempting the viewer with some impenetrable reality hidden just beyond the painting’s surface. In addition to the superimposed layers of rich bejewelled tones, Richter’s left-to-right, stop-and-go motions of the squeegee stimulate the viewer’s tactile senses by producing build-ups of paint, lining and rising above the hypnotic and aqueous columns like tides, giving form to yet another dimension of the work.

    Abstraktes Bild is a key work realised during a climactic moment in Richter’s career when the artist achieved unprecedented global triumph, culminating in critical acclaim. Created the same year as his renowned four-part Bach suite (Moderna Museet, Stockholm), the monumental Abstraktes Bild belongs to one of Richter’s most highly celebrated abstract cycles. Abstraktes Bild 809-3, for instance, prestigiously resides in the joint collection of the Tate Modern and the National Galleries of Scotland. Other companion works, Abstraktes Bild 768-1, 771 and 780-1 are now housed as collection highlights in the Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., respectively. Following a breakthrough retrospective at the Tate Modern, London, in 1991 and a prodigious presentation of his work in Germany at Documenta IX the subsequent year, Richter received a major touring retrospective Gerhard Richter: Malerei 1962-1993.

    The magnificent striations of Abstraktes Bild represent an innovative development in Richter’s technique in the 1990s. Robert Storr notes the artist “has taken to flaying the painted skin of his canvases with a spatula in broad strokes or long, wavering stripes leaving behind abraded, shimmering surfaces that at their sheerest most luminous look like the Aurora Borealis suspended above various red, orange, yellow, green blue or violet planets (Robert Storr, Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2002, p. 81). Offsetting the blended softness of the pigments, the sudden horizontal strips created by the hard edge of a palette knife cut across the canvas, imbuing the composition with a sense of unification and architectural structure. This process is not one of addition, but rather of subtraction. Richter explains in a statement from 1992, 'For about a year now, I have been unable to do anything in my painting but scrape off, pile on and then remove again. In this process, I don’t actually reveal what was beneath. If I wanted to do that, I would have to think what to reveal (figurative pictures or signs or patterns); that is, pictures that might as well be produced direct. It would be something of a symbolic trick: bringing to light the lost, buried pictures, or something to that effect. The process of applying, destroying and layering serves only to achieve a more varied technical repertoire in picture-making' (Gerhard Richter, ‘Notes 1992’ in Hans-Ulrich Obrist, ed., Gerhard Richter: The Daily Practice of Painting, London, 1995, p. 245).

    Richter acknowledges the irrepressible human urge to construct meaning and then deliberately frustrates this search as expressed by the squeegee, whose perforations induce the sensation of a long-lost figurative reality drifting just beyond the painting’s tangible surface. Though the artist was uninterested in total randomness, Richter explained of all his paintings in 1990, 'they should by all means, be smarter than me. I no longer have to be able to follow them completely. They have to be something that I no longer understand entirely. As long as I comprehend them theoretically, they are boring' (Gerhard Richter and Sabine Schütz. 'Gerhard Richter (interview)' in Journal of Contemporary Art, New York, Fall/Winter 1990, p. 35.) Abtraktes Bild therefore demonstrates Richter’s preoccupation with this oscillation between phases of coincidence and periods of calculation. Richter elaborates, 'And by not planning the result I hope to be able to realise rather a correctness and objectivity which any piece of nature (or a ready-made) always possesses' (Gerhard Richter and Sabine Schütz, “Gerhard Richter (interview)' in Journal of Contemporary Art, New York, Fall/Winter 1990, p. 43, in Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 4 1988-1994, Ostfildern, 2015, p. 22).

  • Catalogue Essay

    創作於1992年的《抽象畫 776-1號》是里希特之範作經典,純粹清晰地展現出里希特在歷經抽象藝術創作時期期間所經歷的最為輝煌的一段藝術創作歷程,這是「 一次以嚴肅的態度終身研究畫作的可能性與局限性的巔峰」(Ulrich Wilmes,節錄自Dietmar Elger著,〈格拉德.里希特目錄全集,第4集:1988-1994〉,Ostfildern,2015年,第22頁)。滾軸作畫成為了里希特最具象徵代表性的創作手法,他利用橡膠滾軸,在畫布上刷滾出普魯士藍與青黃二色的互動;相互交融,如栩如生,流淌直下。繽紛閃爍的緞帶與隱隱紫色彩底正是光與質感的貫融,耀眼,奪目;試圖讓視野在賞析之間,不禁去探索暗藏於畫面之下深奧的現實世界。里希特一邊將珠光寶氣的斑斕色彩層疊在一起, 一邊由左至右,任橡膠滾軸在停促頓挫之間塗刷顏料, 喚醒觸覺,水浪般的條紋,排列上升,如夢如幻。

    此作品是里希特在國際畫壇取得前所未有的佳績時所作的代表作,登峰造極,贏得了高度好評。與同年著作《巴赫》四部作(現藏斯德哥爾摩當代藝術館)一同創作的《抽象畫》是里希特在抽象藝術創作時期的著作之一。例如幸享殊榮的《抽象畫 809-3號》被納入泰德畫廊和蘇格蘭國家畫廊聯合收藏的藏品之一。伴隨這部作品的其它作品,如《抽象畫》之 768-1,771 和 780-1號均成為了在位於巴登巴登的弗里德·布爾達藝術館,漢堡的漢堡畫廊和華盛頓國家藝術館的重要收藏。隨著在1991年倫敦泰德畫廊回顧展的突破,及次年在第4屆卡塞爾文獻展上享有盛榮的個展,里希特迎來了重要回顧巡展《格拉德.里希特:畫作 1962 – 1993年》。

    《抽象畫》的華麗條紋代表的是里希特在90年代藝術創作時期的一次創新性發展。Robert Storr解釋「漆工抹刀刮抹畫面,寬長的刮痕將畫布上的顏料剝去,波浪般的條紋藏在刮過的閃光表面之間,柔亮晶瑩;仿似懸浮在紅,橙,黃,綠,藍 紫星球上方的北極光。」(Robert Storr,錄於現代藝術博物館出版,〈格拉德.里希特:作畫40載〉展覽圖錄,紐約,2002年,第81頁)。調色刀堅硬的刀刃劃過畫布,詫異的在畫布上形成一道水平條紋,抵消柔美的混色, 填充作品架構,使畫作具建築結構上的統一。這不是增加,反倒是遞減。里希特在1992年的藝術家陳述中解釋道 「至今,大概有一年左右的時間,我已經不能夠對我的畫作做任何事,除了刮去,堆砌然後再去除。這一過程中,我並不顯露下面的部分。如果我想這樣做,我將要想應該該顯露些什麼(或人形,或符號,或圖案);正因如此,不如以直接的方法用圖作本身表達。也許,這是一種帶有寓意的小把戲:讓流逝的過去,埋藏的畫作重見天日;還有那些諸如此類的效應。添加,損毀和層疊的過程就是為了以多元的技巧作畫。」。」(里希特,〈Notes 1992〉,錄於Hans-Ulrich Obrist編《格拉德 .里希特:每日畫技》,倫敦,1995年,第245頁)。

    里希特用橡膠滾軸作畫實際是認同了人類急不可耐地想構建生命的意義,然而卻在找尋真諦的過程中故意迷失自己,作品上的穿孔逾越畫作實質本身,栩栩如生地引申出久違了的現實。作為畫家,他雖然對事物的偶然性不感興趣,然而在解釋於1990年創作的作品時,里希特這樣說道「無論如何,它們比我聰明。他們肯定是一種我無法完全明白的產物。一旦用理論解釋, 就沉悶不堪。」(里希特與Sabine Schütz,〈格拉德.里希特(訪談)〉,節錄自《當代藝術期刊》,紐約,1990年秋/東版,第35頁)。因此《抽象畫》就表現出里希特這種對於事物處於偶然性與可預計性之間徘徊的全神貫注。里希特解釋「不準備結果,正是希望可以發覺在任何一件天然物件上固有的一種正確性及客觀性(里希特與Sabine Schütz,〈格拉德.里希特(訪談)〉,節錄自《當代藝術期刊》,紐約,1990年秋/東版,第43頁,錄於Dietmar Elger著,《格拉德.里希特目錄全集,第4集:1988-1994》,Ostfildern,2015年,第22頁)。

  • Artist Bio

    Gerhard Richter

    German • 1932

    Powerhouse painter Gerhard Richter has been a key player in defining the formal and ideological agenda for painting in contemporary art. His instantaneously recognizable canvases literally and figuratively blur the lines of representation and abstraction. Uninterested in classification, Richter skates between unorthodoxy and realism, much to the delight of institutions and the market alike. 

    Richter's color palette of potent hues is all substance and "no style," in the artist's own words. From career start in 1962, Richter developed both his photorealist and abstracted languages side-by-side, producing voraciously and evolving his artistic style in short intervals. Richter's illusory paintings find themselves on the walls of the world's most revered museums—for instance, London’s Tate Modern displays the Cage (1) – (6), 2006 paintings that were named after experimental composer John Cage and that inspired the balletic 'Rambert Event' hosted by Phillips Berkeley Square in 2016. 

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Property of an Important European Collector

Abstraktes Bild 776-1

1992
signed, numbered and dated 'Richter 1992 776-1' on the reverse
oil on canvas
92 x 82.1 cm. (36 1/4 x 32 3/8 in.)
Painted in 1992.

Estimate
HK$18,000,000 - 25,000,000 
€2,170,000-3,010,000
$2,310,000-3,210,000

sold for HK$19,880,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2016