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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Gerhard Richter

b. 1932, Germany

Gerhard Richter is an artist known for his diverse and innovative methods of painting, that oscillates between realism and abstraction, and his use of photographic sources as the basis of his work.

After graduating in 1956 from the Dresden Art Academy, where he trained as a painter, Richter painted murals in the state-dictated Socialist Realist aesthetic. In 1959, he visited II. documenta in Kassel and was impressed by the artwork of the Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana and American painter Jackson Pollock. Drawn to the possibility of artistic freedom outside East Germany, he defected to West Germany in 1961 and enrolled in the Kunstakadmie Düsseldorf. There, he met artists Sigmar Polke and Blinky Palermo and future art dealer Konrad Lueg (later Konrad Fischer), whose shared interest in Pop art led them to found Capitalist Realism in 1963—a critique of both Socialist Realism and capitalism.

Richter's paintings from the 1960s are figurative and based on photographic images, a procedure that would continue with his later works. The oil painting Table (1962), for example, began as a realistic portrayal of a white designer table, but the artist was so dissatisfied with the result that he covered most of it in bold brush marks. Uncle Rudi (1965)—one of his most famous works—is based on a full-length photograph of his uncle in Wehrmacht uniform. While representational, the black-and-white painting was rendered with a blurring effect that makes it difficult to see the image with certainty.

In 1962 Richter began building his vast archive of images. The archive includes photographs taken by him or gathered elsewhere of family members, landscapes, still lifes; newspaper cuttings; and sketches for his paintings. In the early 1970s, he started exhibiting his archival images as works of art in their own right under the title 'Atlas'.

Richter's interest in the tension between photography and painting, and between realism and abstraction led him to experiment with a range of methods. For the large-scale diptych Abstract Painting (726), for example, he dragged a squeegee over the surface of the paint to smear it. Underneath the overall grey, however, shades of red, white, and orange hint at the possibility of an original, representational image. Other methods include painting directly over pictures, such as Self Portrait Standing, Three Times, 17.3.1991 (1991), for which the artist applied increasingly more paint on six identical images of himself standing in his studio, so that by the sixth image the original picture is practically invisible.

Richter continues to test the threshold between the figurative and the abstract. For 'Birkenau' (2014), a four-part abstract series based on the photographs secretly taken by Jewish prisoners at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1944, the artist made photographic renditions of the images and painted over them until they became unrecognisable.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Abstract Painting by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterAbstract Painting, 1992 Oil on canvas
52 x 62 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
MV. 98 by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterMV. 98, 2011 Lacquer on colour photograph
10 x 15 cm
Gagosian
MV. 45 by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterMV. 45, 2011 Lacquer on colour photograph
10 x 15 cm
Gagosian
Firenze (29.1.2000) by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterFirenze (29.1.2000), 2000 Oil on colour photograph
12 x 12 cm
Gagosian
4.1.89 by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard Richter4.1.89, 1989 Oil on colour photograph
12.7 x 17.5 cm
Gagosian
Rot-Blau-Gelb [Red-Blue-Yellow] by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterRot-Blau-Gelb [Red-Blue-Yellow], 1973 Oil on canvas
200 x 200 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Vermalung (Braun) by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterVermalung (Braun), 1972 Oil on canvas
27 x 40 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
Zwei Frauen am Tisch [Two Women at a Table] by Gerhard Richter contemporary artwork
Gerhard RichterZwei Frauen am Tisch [Two Women at a Table], 1968 Oil on canvas
95 x 115 cm
Ben Brown Fine Arts

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Gerhard Richter, Overpainted Photographs at Gagosian, London
Closed
9 April–8 June 2019 Gerhard Richter Overpainted Photographs Gagosian, Davies Street, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Summer Selections at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Closed
28 June–24 August 2018 Group Exhibition Summer Selections Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Represented By

In Related Press

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Never Look Away hitches Gerhard Richter paintings to melodrama set in Nazi Germany Related Press Never Look Away hitches Gerhard Richter paintings to melodrama set in Nazi Germany Sarinah Maskor : 21 June 2019

'To talk about painting is not only difficult but perhaps pointless, too,' says Gerhard Richter in Corrina Belz's 2012 documentary Gerhard Richter Painting. 'You can only express in words what words are capable of expressing, what language can communicate. Painting has nothing to do with that.' This wisdom is lost on director Florian Henckel von...

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Buyer’s guide to...Gerhard Richter Related Press Buyer’s guide to...Gerhard Richter The Art Newspaper : 10 June 2019

With a major retrospective coming up at New York's Met Breuer next year (4 March-5 July), plus his Seascapes at the Guggenheim Bilbao (until 9 September), the German artist Gerhard Richter is having another moment. At Art Basel this week, his work is on show at the booths of David Zwirner and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, among others.This is hardly a...

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Painting’s Patriarchal Spirit Related Press Painting’s Patriarchal Spirit Hyperallergic : 20 October 2018

LONDON—In 1981, the Royal Academy of Arts in London put on an exhibition of 20th century painting that changed the art world. A New Spirit in Painting was 'a manifesto,' the accompanying catalogue said; it showcased a set of contemporary, mostly European painters, whose work possessed qualities—figurative, narrative, emotional,...

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Titian and Gerhard Richter: Keeping Faith With Painting, 5 Centuries Apart Related Press Titian and Gerhard Richter: Keeping Faith With Painting, 5 Centuries Apart The New York Times : 18 October 2018

MANTUA, Italy — In 1972, Gerhard Richter represented West Germany at the Venice Biennale and presented one of his most renowned series of paintings: '48 Portraits,' which depict famous and forgotten white men in blurry, pallid black and white. While in Venice that summer, he went to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where he came upon a...

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