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  • Provenance

    Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Marian Goodman Gallery, Gerhard Richter: Abstract Paintings, 7 November 2009–9 January 2010

  • Catalogue Essay

    Gerhard Richter’s work is a sustained investigation into painterly form; dizzying in its variety, it renegotiates relations between medium, subject and truth. Dating from 2005, the present lot belongs to a body of work initiated decades earlier in 1976. In this Abstraktes Bild series, the artist creates pieces that are at once scabrous and celestial, dragging layer upon layer of paint across his canvases using either a squeegee or a large brush. It is tempting to establish a dichotomy between the non-representationality of these works and the careful realism of his Photo Painting. However the artist himself warns against such a distinction: ‘experience has proved that there is no difference between a so-called realist painting – of a landscape, for example – and an abstract painting.’ (Gerhard Richter, ‘Interview with Irmeline Lebeer, 1973,' Gerhard Richter: Text. Writing, Interviews, and Letters, 1961-2007, London: Thames & Hudson, 2009, p.83).

    In Richter’s theorisation, painting sets the parameters of its own reality; as he puts it, ‘later you realize that you can't represent reality at all – that what you make represents nothing but itself, and therefore is itself reality.’ (Gerhard Richter, ‘Interview with Rolf Schön, 1972,’ Gerhard Richter: Text. Writing, Interviews, and Letters, 1961-2007, London: Thames & Hudson, 2009, p.59). The artist moves beyond conventional understandings of figuration and abstraction to posit a painterly practice whose truth, if it can be spoken of, is self-contained. His pieces thereby assume a curious autonomy, heightened in the Abstrakte Bilder by the unpredictability inherent in the creative process. In 894-14, this unique approach births a beguiling painterly otherworld. An impasto haze, the grey tonalities of the base palette are enlivened by the deep green at the painting’s edges. As in much of his work, Richter arrives at a compositional space possessed of its own unique and instinctive energy.

  • Artist Biography

    Gerhard Richter

    German • 1932

    One of the most influential living painters, 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’s oeuvre oscillates between unorthodoxy and realism, much to the delight of institutions and the market alike.  

    From his career start in 1962, Richter developed both his photorealist and abstracted languages side-by-side, producing voraciously and evolving his artistic style in rapid intervals. Many of Richter's paintings find themselves in the permanent collections of the world's most revered museums. 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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Abstraktes Bild (894-14)

oil on Alu Dibond
30 x 44 cm (11 3/4 x 17 3/8 in.)
Signed, titled and dated '894-14 Richter 2005' on the reverse.

£180,000 - 220,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £194,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
[email protected]
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 29 June 2015 7pm