Gerhard Richter - Contemporary Art Part II New York Friday, May 15, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Germany

  • Catalogue Essay

    "It is probably Cézanne’s intensely thoughtful and painfully hesitant painting that most closely corresponds to Richter’s reflectiveness, the kind that appears spontaneous but which actually has been executed with extreme precision and which has kept his Abstrake Bilder free from any kind of compulsiveness.  Even when traces of Romanticism resonate in them or when emotions seem to emerge and the abstract forms seem to fill the painting’s ground with a Baroque dynamic, these have been carefully calculated.  Their complex structures emerge from a variety of precisely thought-out work processes that guide random elements in the painting and counteract the influence of the unconscious.  They aim at a coherent network of composed associations, and coincidences, of both clear and inexplicable elements in order to finally reach a state Richter has described as ‘planned spontaneity.  His work is both carefully thought through and carefully painted.  He applies layer upon layer of paint and then if necessary, he removes it or scrapes it back down to the canvas in order to start again.  The surface structures produced by this vary greatly and show how the painter attempts to get to the very heart of painting and how he materializes his confrontation with the forms of paint on the canvas.  The creation of these pictures involves a fundamental tension in deciding where the palette knife should apply paint and where it should remove it.  Unexpected developments, which either cover over figurative elements in the picture or suggest object in the repertoire of abstract forms, serve to produce paintings that benefit as much from unplanned incidents as from a strict visual logic that sets about eradicating chance events." 
    from “On the Desire to Paint Something Beautiful,” G. Adriani, ed., Gerhard Richter: Paintings from Private Collections, Ostfildern, 2008, p. 29

  • 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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Entwurf für Grund (Basic Draft)

Oil and acrylic on wooden panel. 
27 5/8 x 39 1/2 in. (70.2 x 100.3 cm).
Signed, titled and dated "G. Richter Entwurf für Grund 1978" on the reverse. 

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $170,500

Contemporary Art Part II

15 May 2009, 10am
New York