Gerhard Richter - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "I want to end up with a picture that I haven’t planned. This method of arbitrary choice, chance, inspiration and destruction may produce a specific type of picture, but it never produces a predetermined picture…I just want to get something more interesting out of it than those things I can think out for myself."
    —Gerhard Richter

    Executed in 1988, 14.2.88 is a stunning example of Richter’s late and unprecedented abstractions. With its thick strokes of red in a chromatic yet profound composition, the present work exemplifies Gerhard Richter’s endless exploration of the medium of oil paint. Recognized as one of the most important artists of our time, Richter has continued to push the boundaries of painting, consistently surprising the viewer in new ways.


    Reminiscent of Richter’s iconic body of abstract paintings, Abstraktes Bild, this work on paper is an intimate example of the artist’s unique and renowned technique of an almost mechanical application of paint. 14.2.88 features thin yet active strokes of scarlet with hints of white and crimson oil paint that the artist has broken apart with his own fingers, creating a powerful sensation of space and perspective. Richter’s abstract body of work is the culmination of his extraordinary artistic career—a phase he is still very much in. Throughout his decades-long practice, he has explored the medium of painting in ways that only masters such as Cy Twombly, Clyfford Still and Willem de Kooning did. The present work is a testament to Gerhard Richter’s stated goal as a painter: “to bring together in a living and viable way, the most different and the most contradictory elements in the greatest possible freedom.”


    • Provenance

      Damon Brandt Gallery, New York
      Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1989)
      Private Collection (thence by descent from the above)
      Sotheby’s, New York, October 2, 2020, lot 218
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • 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. 

      View More Works

Property of a Lady



signed, titled, and dated “14.2.88 - Richter” lower left of the mount; titled and dated “14.2.88” on the reverse of the mount
oil on paper mounted on card
sheet 11 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (29.8 x 41.9 cm)
mount 13 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (33.7 x 46.4 cm)

Executed on February 14, 1988.

Full Cataloguing

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $327,600

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022