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£120,000 - 180,000 ‡ ♠
Private Collection, Germany
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Butin Hubertus, Stegan Gronert and Thomas Olbricht, Gerhard Richter, Editionen 1965-2013, Catalogue Raisonné, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2014, p. 325, no. 152 (illustrated)
The present work, a digital inkjet print of the artist’s 1965 painting Vorhang III (hell), offers a photographic impressionist depiction of domestic iconography. Populating the picture plane, monochromatic bars and pleated structures align in formation. Rendered in a range of grey, the image appears out of focus; hazy and unstable, imprecise yet a clear and succinct portrayal; one that is devoid of pictorial hierarchy, as Richter comments, ‘I blur to make everything equal, everything equally important and equally unimportant’ (Gerhard Richter, ‘Notizen 1964-1965’, in Richter , 2008, p.33).
Espousing a quasi trompe l’oeil aesthetic, the curtain as a reoccurring motif was inspired by and related to Richter’s studio. Influenced by his immediate surroundings, Richter hung one of his first small curtain paintings next to its tangible counterpart in his studio in Düsseldorf. This paradoxical perception calls in to question the very act of seeing, as Richter notes, ‘Lack of focus is…important to me because I cannot see it exactly anyway and do not know it.’ (Gerhard Richter, ‘Statement, 10. Oktober 1973’, republished in Richter , 2008, p. 84). Investigating painting as a spatially coherent representation of real and imagined subject matter, Richter’s Curtain Series is a testament to the calibre of Richter’s prolific and stylistically varied artistic production, reaffirming his rank as one of the most important painters of our time.
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.
£120,000 - 180,000 ‡ ♠
London Auction 30 June 2017