Abstraktes Bild (715-6)

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich
    Private Collection, Germany
    Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1994)
    Acquired privately via Christie's Private Sales by the present owner in 2017

  • Exhibited

    Bonn, Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Gerhard Richter: Malerei 1962–1993, 10 December 1993 – 13 February 1994, vol. 3, p. 188, no. 715-6 (illustrated)
    Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Gerhard Richter: Peinture, 23 September - 21 November 1993
    Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Gerhard Richter, 7 June - 22 August 1994
    Nimes, Carré d'Art Musée d'art contemporain, Gerhard Richter 100 Bilder, 15 June – 15 September 1996, no. 715-6 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Dietmar Elger, Gerhard Richter Catalogue Raisonné 1988-1994, Ostfildern, 2015, vol. 4, p. 293, no. 715-6 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    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)

    Escaping to West Germany two months before the construction of the Berlin Wall, Richter was admitted to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the centre of a new European avant-garde. Together with fellow students including the German painter Sigmar Polke, Richter established the “capitalist realism” movement, an ironic counter-movement to his socialist realist past, with critical overtones of modern society and politics. However, after these experimental years, Richter firmly rejected any attempt to label his work or to associate it with any political or artistic ideologies:

    “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)

    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.” (Richter, quoted in Michael Kimmelman, ‘An Artist Beyond Isms’, The New York Times Magazine, 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 plexiglas 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.

    Rendered in a deep shades of purple and red in vertical and horizontal striations, Abstraktes Bild (715-6) is a particularly beautiful example of how Richter’s abstract paintings began to lean toward the more structured and minimalist end of abstraction, with visible stripes and grids. Streaked with undulating monochrome streaks and fiery elements of golden yellow periodically exposed through the disfigured paint layers, Richter revisited a favourite personal challenge of unifying bright colours with his more usually muted, melancholy palette, a theme he began working on with his Red-Blue-Yellow works in 1972.

    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.” (Richter, quoted in Michael Kimmelman, ‘An Artist Beyond Isms’, The New York Times Magazine, 27 January 2002, online)

    Abstraktes Bild (715-6) has been included as part of major institutional retrospectives of Richter’s oeuvre, including at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France and the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn (1993-1994). In 2012, one of Richter’s abstract paintings set a record auction price for a painting sold by a living artist - Abstraktes Bild (809-4) (1994). He broke this record twice more, most recently in 2015 with the sale of another abstract work - Abstraktes Bild (1986). 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


    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,里希特的職業生涯始於繪製社會寫實主義壁畫。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,則成為了里希特的一個轉折點。傑克遜·波洛克等藝術家創作的抽像作品中所體現的自由、繪畫的自發性,對里希特來說是「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,〈格哈特·里希特:繪畫的日常實踐〉,1962年-1993年的寫作, 第132-3頁)

    里希特在柏林牆築起前兩個月逃往西德,被送往杜塞爾多夫藝術博物館,這是歐洲前衛藝術的中心。 里希特與包括德國畫家西格瑪·波克在內的同學一起創立了“資本現實主義”運動,這是針對他的社會現實主義過往的諷刺性反動,帶有現代社會性和政治性的重要色彩。 然而,經過這些實驗性的歲月,里希特堅決拒絕任何將他的作品貼上標籤或將其與任何政治或藝術意識形態聯繫起來的嘗試:

    「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)」(葛哈特·里希特,漢斯·烏爾里希·奧布里斯特, 文本:寫作、訪談及書信,倫敦2019年)


    「[繪畫抽象]就像是行走,一步一步,不帶目的性地走,直到你發現你要前往何方。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, 截自網路)


    «抽象畫(715-6號)» 在垂直和水平條紋中以深紫色和紅色陰影呈現,是里希特的抽像畫作中,如何開始朝著結構化和極簡主義的抽象之方向前進。畫中帶有可見的條紋和網格,是一個美麗的藝術傑作,細看畫面上散佈著起伏的單色條紋和金黃色的炙熱元素,這些顏色節奏般地從被破解的油漆層中顯露。他重新審視了最鍾愛的個人挑戰,即用其通常更為柔和,低沈的調色板來統一明亮的色彩,這個主題呼應他自1972年便開始的紅-藍-黃色調作品。

    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, 截自網路)

    «抽象畫(715-6號)» 被納入里希特作品的主要回顧展之中,其中包括馬德里國立藝術博物館、斯德哥爾摩現代美術館; 巴黎現代藝術博物館和波昂德國聯邦藝術及展覽館(1993-1994年)


  • 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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Abstraktes Bild (715-6)

signed, titled and dated '"715-6" Richter 1990' on the reverse
oil on canvas
84 x 69 cm. (33 1/8 x 27 1/8 in.)
Painted in 1990, this work is listed in the Richter Catalogue Raisonné under number 715-6.

HK$20,000,000 - 25,000,000 

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Contact Specialist
Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 24 November 2019