Gerhard Richter - Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale New York Wednesday, March 6, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Schönewald und Beuse, Düsseldorf
    Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    Anthony d’Offray Gallery, Gerhard Richter 1998, London: Anthony d’Offray Gallery, 1998, cat no. 839/1-110.
    H. Butin, S. Gronert, Dallas Museum of Art, eds., Gerhard Richter: Editions 1965-2004, Catalogue Raisonné, Ostfildern-Ruit, Hatje Cantz, 2004, cat no. 89.

  • Catalogue Essay

    “ Abstract is something everyday for me, as natural as walking or breathing.”

    In an ongoing meditation on painting, Gerhard Richter imbues his systematic and thoughtful process in this key work from his Fuji series, Fuji (839-12), 1996. Richter’s inspiration for this work stemmed from the dimensionality of his oil paints, which he added methodically, layer by layer, onto the metal surface. To this effect, evocative gestures are heightened by decisive color choices and the balance of positive and negative space. Richter’s inimitable method of painting, typified by his later abstract works, produces a brilliant affect in which colors fade in and out of visibility. Here, flaming reds and oranges radiate throughout the upper horizontal edge suggesting molten lava quelled by seafoam green, turquoise, and teal capped by white surf. One can observe shadows of color visible beneath the luminous white, prompting curiosity as to what came before and what lies beneath.

    These vestiges of color are modest indications of the contemplative quality of Fuji (839-12), a culmination of technique and gesture. It is perhaps telling that Richter would create the Fuji series with his Atlas collection in mind, producing the edition to help finance the purchase of Atlas by the Städtishche Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich. As Atlas is a collection of the artist’s inspiration and work process, containing images and elements that were ultimately sorted, selected, altered and transferred onto canvas, one can speculate that the Fuji series is a result of the same underlying rigor and laborious process; each addition of paint further obscuring the complexity of layers beneath, while simultaneously exposing the act of concealment.

  • 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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Fuji (839-12)

oil on alucobond
11 3/8 x 14 5/8 in. (29 x 37cm)
Signed and numbered “Richter 12” in felt-tip pen on the reverse.
This work is numbered 12 from an edition of 110.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $215,000

Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

7 March 2013
New York