Gerhard Richter - New Now London Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • 'Painting pictures is simply the official, the daily work, the profession, and in the case of the watercolours I can sooner afford to follow my mood, my spirits.'
    —Gerhard Richter

    Emerging as one of Europe's first Pop artists, Richter went on to skilfully tackle a wide range of styles and mediums, including minimalist colour charts, photorealistic landscapes, photo-portraits, exuberant canvases, and expressive abstract works on paper. Navigating effortlessly between the diversity of his media, while never asserting one above the other, Richter has continuously focused his artistic research on the nature of imagery.

    When speaking of his abstract works, Richter notes, ‘each picture has to evolve out of a painterly or visual logic. It has to emerge as if inevitable. By not planning the outcome, I hope to achieve the same coherence and objectivity that a random slice of nature always possesses.’i Untitled, 1977, perfectly translates Richter’s methodology and ability to combine obscure abstractions with sharp shapes like the cross-hatching over the multi-coloured horizontal layers. The present work is executed in Richter’s characteristic style with alluring, textured layers and eye-catching, striking combination of colours; particularly the orange-green which is contrasted by the electrifying blue, offering multi-dimensionality and depth to the composition.

    Since the unpredictability of the outcome is the main factor in Richter’s technique of painting in watercolour, he employs the layering quality and rich pigment of the material in such a way as to allow it to blend across the paper in bright hues and unique forms and to find its own way across the paper, resulting in a process that is truly intimate. Richter’s way to stimulate the viewer’s optical and tactile sensations makes his oeuvre one of the most emotionally powerful explorations of abstraction.


    i Gerhard Richter quoted in interview with Sabine Schütz, 1990, The Daily Practice of Painting: Writings and Interviews, 1962-1993, Cambridge, 1995, p. 216

    • Provenance

      The Over Holland Collection
      Acquired from the above 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



signed and dated 'Richter / 77' lower left; inscribed 'King Kong und die weiße Frau' on the reverse
watercolour on paper
14.9 x 20.9 cm (5 7/8 x 8 1/4 in.)
Executed in 1977.

Full Cataloguing

£70,000 - 90,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £63,000

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey
Head of New Now Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 13 July 2021