Süden

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  • Provenance

    Jean Bernier Gallery, Athens
    Private Collection
    Christie's, London, 15 October 2006, lot 72
    Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Düsseldorf, K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Daniel Richter Grünspan, 12 October 2002 - 19 January 2003, no. 19, pp. 82-83, 114 (illustrated, pp. 82-83)
    Toronto, The Power Plant; Vancouver, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Daniel Richter Pink Flag White Horse, 27 March 2004 - 2006, pp. 44-45, 61 (illustrated, pp. 44-45)
    Moscow, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Create Your Own Museum, 24 January - 1 March 2007, pp. 58-59 (illustrated, pp. 58-59)
    Hamburg, Kunsthalle; The Hague, GEM Museum; Málaga, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo; Daniel Richter Die Palette 1995-2007, 4 May 2007 - 13 July 2008, pp. 120, n.p. (illustrated p. 120)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1999, German artist Daniel Richter turned away from pure abstraction and embraced a new, hybrid style of painting, fluctuating between pictorial specificity and atmospheric ambiguity. In these works, Richter bridges fantasy and fact, as he draws inspiration from tangible sources such as photographs, real-life images and news media, and expands each iconographic starting point into a phantasmagorical universe sui generis. While Richter’s trademark fusion of reality and reverie can spur sentiments of unease and disquiet, it is also able to soothe, performing as a calming, almost spiritual alternative to the nervousness and speed of the modern world.

    Süden is a wonderful example of Richter’s ambivalent visual language; it lays out a coherent, recognisable setting, yet is punctuated with a number of incongruous elements that question the scene’s veracity. Projecting the viewer into what seems to be the German countryside, the picture nonetheless eludes rigid representational specificity, and contains a paranormal, otherworldly aura, denoted most strikingly by the presence of iridescent crimson trees, and nude, unidentified bodies dancing with their arms raised, as if in a trance. The painting’s hazy features, in conjunction with the canvas’s rigorously structured composition, demonstrates the artist’s proficiency in balancing the real, the embellished and the imagined. Its play on perpsective –the scene is sometimes depth-specific, sometimes entirely flat– denotes a parallel world in which space and time are subsumed into confusion.

    In many ways, the ethereal imaginativeness of Richter’s work seems reminiscent of Peter Doig’s painterly explorations. Equally infusing indistinct pictures with a quality of likeness and evocativeness, Doig draws from photographs either found or his own, to construct images that hover at the intersection between reality and abstraction. Similarly, Richter’s reference to imagery from real life, infuses his work with a photographic, if not cinematic, feel.

    Since Richter’s images are often atmospheric to the point of spiritualism, it is furthermore unsurprising that the artist sourced inspiration not only from the media and his own memories, but also from Christian iconography. Transposing memories of German lands with visions of spiritual bodies, Richter conjures an uncanny atmosphere, evocative of the psychadelic, colourful universes Hieronymus Bosch painted in the late 1400s. Süden feels at once familiar and strange; like an elaborate theatre brimming with absurdist twists.

16

Süden

signed and dated 'DANIEL RICHTER 2002' centre left
oil on canvas
289.4 x 299.6 cm (113 7/8 x 117 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2002.

Estimate
£200,000 - 300,000 

sold for £321,000

Contact Specialist
Simon Tovey
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

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London Auction 5 December 2018