Ohne Titel (VIII ’98)

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Springer, Berlin
    Private Collection, Korea
    Johyun Gallery, Busan
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings. (Because style is violent, and I am not violent.)” (Gerhard Richter, in Hans Ulrich Obrist ,Text: Writings, Interviews and Letters, London, 2009)

    Gerhard Richter is a contemporary German visual artist widely considered “the greatest modern painter” and one of the most influential living artists today. Known particularly for his powerful abstract works, the enigmatic Richter has been compared by art historians and critics to artists as diverse as Vermeer and Picasso.

    Born in 1932 in Dresden, Germany and living through the rise of the Nazi regime and Soviet rule after the end of World War II, Richter began his career producing socialist realist murals. Struggling to find a new aesthetic language amidst the increasingly uncomfortable restrictions being forced upon his work, Richter’s turning point came in 1959 when he discovered the work of the Abstract Expressionists at the second documenta exhibition in Kassel, Germany. The free, painterly spontaneity of abstract works produced by artists such as Jackson Pollock (see for example Jackson Pollock’s Convergence (1952)) was an "expression of a totally different and entirely new content” for Richter, and spoke to a realisation within him that "there was something wrong with my whole way of thinking". (Gerhard Richter, quoted in Interview with Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Gerhard Richter: The Daily Practice of Painting, Writings 1962-1993, pp.132-3)

    A painter first and foremost, Richter initially became widely known for his dreamlike blurred photo-paintings, which were appropriated from images found in photos and magazines and which explored the relationship between representation and abstraction. His approach reversed course as Richter experimented further with pure abstraction:

    “[Painting abstracts] is more like walking, step by step, without an intention, until you discover where you are going. When I paint a landscape from a photograph or an image like this one, I can see the end point before I start, although in fact it always turns out slightly different than I imagined.” (Michael Kimmelman, ‘An Artist Beyond Isms’, The New York Times, 27 January 2002, online)

    Around 1978, Richter began to apply paint in his abstract pictures by scraping. Typically starting with simple smears of paint or a geometric composition, Richter typically applies pressure using homemade wood and plexiglass squeegees to drag and wipe the paint repeatedly across his canvas, methodically building up and deconstructing the layers of paint. Manipulating the viscosity of the oil medium, Richter applies thin layers of paint such that small tears in the film create spontaneous windows into underlying layers, gathering in clusters or at other times rippling across the canvas to create compositional accents or axes. His technique is as visually arresting in smaller works as on larger canvases, and on special occasions Richter would make gifts of these smaller works to his friends and employees. Untitled (VIII ’98) is a particularly beautiful example of how Richter’s abstract paintings matured during the 1990s, leaning toward the more structured and minimalist end of abstraction. He explained in a 2002 interview with The New York Times,

    “I always need to paint abstracts again. I need that pleasure. […] there must be something, some higher faculty, some progressive sensibility that we find in abstraction. But it is impossible to describe.” (Michael Kimmelman, ‘An Artist Beyond Isms’,The New York Times, 27 January 2002, online)

    In 2012, one of Richter’s abstract paintings set a record auction price for a painting sold by a living artist - Abstraktes Bild (Cat. Rais. No. 809-4) (1994). He broke this record twice more, most recently in 2015 with the sale of another abstract work - Abstraktes Bild (1986). Richter has been honoured with several solo retrospectives over the past decade, including at the Tate Modern (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), and Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin). His works are held in pre-eminent public collections around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), and the Tate (London). The artist currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany.

  • Catalogue Essay

    「我喜歡一切沒有風格的東西:字典、照片、自然界、我自己,以及我的畫作。 (因為風格是暴力的,而我不是)」 (葛哈·李希特, Hans Ulrich Obrist 著, <寫作、訪談、信件>倫敦,2009年)


    1932出生於德國的德雷斯頓,經歷了納粹政權時期和第二次世界大戰結束後的蘇聯統治時期,李希特的職業生涯始於繪製社會主義之寫實主義壁畫。當創作中所強加給他的限制讓他感覺日漸窒息時,他開始苦苦尋找一種新的審美語言,而1959年在德國卡塞爾的第二次文獻展上發現抽象表現主義藝術家的作品,則成為了李希特的一個轉折點。傑克遜·波洛克等藝術家所創作的抽像作品中所體現的自由、繪畫的自發性,對李希特來說是「完全不同的和全新內容的表達」,並在其內在激起了一種「我的整個思維方式都出現了問題」的認識。(與本雅明•布赫洛的訪談,〈葛哈·李希特:繪畫的日常實踐〉,1962年-1993年的寫作, pp. 132-3)


    「繪畫抽象]就像是行走,一步一步,不帶目的性地走,直到你發現你要去往何方。當我參考照片或一張圖像來畫風景時,我會在畫之前就先看到終結的點在哪裏,儘管事實上結果總是跟我想像的會有些許差異。」(Michael Kimmelman, 〈超越主義的藝術家〉, 紐約時報, 2002年1月27日, 網路文章)

    大約在1978年的時候,李希特開始採用刮刀塗抹的方法將顏料刷至他的抽象作品上。通常從簡單的顏料塗抹或幾何構圖開始,李希特常使用自製的木材質或有機玻璃的刮刀在畫布表面反覆用力地刮和刷,有條不紊地堆疊和刮除顏料的層次。通過對油介質的黏度之控制,李希特塗上薄薄的顏料層,使薄膜中的小裂縫在下面的層次中自發產生窗口,時而匯聚成簇,時而在畫布上成波紋狀擴散,形成結構上的重心或軸。不管是在小件作品還是在大幅的畫布作品中,他的創作技巧在視覺上都同樣吸引人,而在一些特殊場合李希特還會創作這些小件作品作為禮物贈送給他的朋友以及僱員。《無題(VIII ’98)》就是李希特的抽象作品在1990年代愈加成熟的一件絕佳的代表作,在抽象上往更為結構化和極簡主義的方向靠攏。他在2002年接受《紐約時報》採訪時解釋道:

    「我總是需要再次去畫抽象畫。我需要那種樂趣。 [...]有一些東西,一些更高層次的能量,一些疊進的情感,要我們在抽像中去找到。但是卻無法去描述它。」(Michael Kimmelman, 〈超越主義的藝術家〉, 紐約時報, 2002年1月27日, 網路文章)


  • 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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Ohne Titel (VIII ’98)

signed and dated 'Richter, VIII '98' on the reverse
oil on canvas laid on board
21 x 21 cm. (8 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.)
Painted in 1998, this work is published in Gerhard Richter's official website.

HK$1,600,000 - 2,500,000 

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Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019