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  • Provenance

    Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    Ende einer Dienstfahrt II (1999) is both a powerfully vivacious art object and an important art-historical document: an example of the apotheosis of Daniel Richter’s formative style; one that provides a window of insight into the direction he would take at the earliest major turning point in his career as well as a demonstration of some of the basic concerns that underlie his entire artistic project. Ende einer Dienstfahrt II is a painting that practically leaps off the wall and announces itself with a burst of abstract horror vacui, crackling with vivid synthetic colors and frenzied, kinetically-charged gestures. It speaks both in the noble, emotive tones of Abstract Expressionism and in the subversive, streetwise argot of subway graffiti, offering a heady concoction of manic expression and exacting precision. A prolonged gaze, however, reveals a depth of field: the grid-like and cubic structural elements and the top and bottom of the frame along with the dark fields over which most of the colorful gestures transpire together suggest a bird’s-eye view of an urban topography, its skyline consumed by a terrible (if Technicolor) storm. The frank sense of urban paranoia and anxiety that emanates from Richter’s later, figurative paintings can be seen to be germinating here—an idea in its infancy still abstract in form.

    From this vantage point, Richter’s imminent departure into the realm of realism can be seen not as a brusque transition but rather as a logical extension of his earlier work; a different approach to an underlying artistic concern with the issues of urban strife, violence and ritual that transcends the boundaries of any particular style. At the very least, the palpable energy radiating from the surface of Ende einer Dienstfahrt II confirms that “beneath his highly seductive surfaces lie the portent of instability, violence, alienation and ideological subversion of a contemporary world in constant flux,” (P. Ellis, “About Daniel Richter and His Art,” The Triumph of Painting II, London, Saatchi Gallery 2007).


Ende Einer Dienstfahrt II (The End of a Business Trip II)

Oil and lacquer on canvas.

86 x 70 3/4 in. (218.4 x 179.7 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “D. Richter 99 Ende einer Dienstfahrt II” on the reverse. This work is accompanied by a photograph signed by the artist.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £120,000

The Marino Golinelli Collection

13 October 2007, 1pm