Gerhard Richter - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 16, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Germany

  • Exhibited

    This work is unique and was one of an installation of canvases that were assembled for the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Düsseldorf.

  • Literature

    B. Butin, S. Gronert, eds., Gerhard Richter - Editions, 1965-2004, Catalogue Raisonné, Hatje Cantz, CR No. 325-62, p. 186
    J. Harten, Gerhard Richter, Bilder 1962-1985, Cologne 1 986, p. 1 48, no. 325-1-1 20 (illustrated)
    Gerhard Richter: Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1993, Ostfildern-Ruit 1993, no. 325/1-1 20 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Gerhard Richter’s enigmatic career has been characterized by his constant reinvention and reinvigoration of his practice. Undoubtedly, he is most widely recognized for his technical prowess wielding only a brush, paint and canvas. Richter’s incredible paint handling, gestural brushwork, and overall abstract compositional structure are manifest in this arresting small work from 1972, Vermalung (braun). Part of a series of 120 Vermalung, or Inpainting, works, this series was the most complete realization to date of his painterly abstract style. Having progressed from the loosely abstracted Townscapes of 1968-69 and specific works such as Park Piece from 1971, Richter was prepared for fully abandoning any figurative reference by the time he set out to paint the current work.

    The “inpainting” of these works could refer to the manner in which Richter first may have painted a figurative work, but instead of the soft blurring abstraction of his earlier works, here he has literally “painted into” the figuration as to completely obstruct any recognition therein. Informed by his interest in Art Informel, a European abstract movement which abandoned and refuted the harder-edged geometric abstraction of Cubism in favor of a much freer, more intuitive style of painting, Richter has applied his paint in thick bands of impasto, sweeping and whirling across the canvas; however, and in opposition to many of his contemporaries, the works were not meant to be read as expressive. Similarly to other monochromatic abstractionists, such as Robert Ryman, these works were a way for Richter to investigate the nature of the paint and his gesture without a personal or expressive component. These Inpaintings solidified Richter’s belief in the power of abstraction and its ability to reflect an objectivity and immediacy through its textures, patterns, surfaces, colors, and application – qualities which he would most fully investigate in the celebrated Abstraktes Bilds.

  • 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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Vermalung (Braun)

oil on canvas
10 5/8 x 15 3/4 in. (27 x 40 cm.)
Signed, numbered and dated "62 Richter, 72" on the reverse.

$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $112,500

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 16 May 2014 11am