Gerhard Richter - Contemporary Art Part I New York Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf

  • Exhibited

    Munich, Städische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Gerhard Richter, May 23 – July 1, 1973; Kunstverein Friedrichshafen, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichschafen, Gerhard Richter Malerei aus drei Jahrzehnten, March 11 – May 20, 2001

  • Literature

    J. C. Ammann and M. Petzet, Gerhard Richter, Germany, 1973, cat. no. 8 (illustrated in black and white); B. H. D. Buchloh, P. Gidal, and B. Pelzer, Gerhard Richter: Werkübersicht/ Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1993, vol. III, Germany, 1993, p. 52 (illustrated) and p. 164; D. Elger and A. Hofmann, Gerhard Richter Malerei aus drei Jahrzehnten, Germany, 2001, p. 33 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1970s Richter continued his explorations in abstraction after the artist severed ties with his past Capitalist Realist works and minimal color tests. Rot-Blau-Gelb (339/2), painted in 1973, is from a series devoted to the primary colors; his technique during this time favored a loose, more expressionistic type with heavy paint applications, leaving a luminescent quality to the works in the undulations of texture and color. Despite his deliberate departure from earlier painting methodologies, Richter is still able to demonstrate that his use of color and stroke can produce paintings with emotional impact. These gestural abstractions continue his methodical deconstruction and reconstruction of the language and power of painting.

    As Michael Hübl describes, “But the colorful and lively canvases that Richter began in the mid 70’s offer completely new views of the nonobjective world. Richter’s swaths of color are torn between conviction and ironic cheerfulness: at times, when he opens up spaces of blinding light between the bundled energy of this brushstrokes, it seems as if he wants to go down in history as the J.M.W. Turner of the Informel movement, but he often seems to mistrust the indulgent weightlessness of lines that race laserlike through glowing fields or of planes that top and rotate like like sails in outer space. He undermines this spontaneity by going over the freshly painted surface with his scraper, blurring the structure of the brushstrokes,” (“The Melancholist of Virtuosity”, ArtNews, February, 1989, p. 124).

  • Artist Biography

    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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Rot-Blau-Gelb (339/2) (Red, Blue, Yellow)

Oil on canvas.
38 3/4 x 36 1/4 in. (98.4 x 92.1 cm).
Signed and dated “Richter, 1973 339/2” on the reverse.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $689,600

Contemporary Art Part I

17 May 2007
7pm New York