Gerhard Richter, Abstract Painting (894-2), 2005. Oil on aludibond, 11 3/4 x 17 3/8 in. ( 30 x 44 cm ) Inv.#12625. Courtesy: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Marian Goodman Gallery is showing an exhibition of new work by Gerhard Richter which will be on view through January 9th, 2010.
On view are a major representation of works made by the artist from 2005 to the present, including an important new cycle of paintings titled Sindbad , 2008 as well as individual paintings presenting medium to large format abstractions, and a new group of large scale near-monochrome paintings whose underlying chromatic structures are layered by translucent veils of white paint. The exhibition is the most recent presentation of the artist's work in New York since his solo exhibition at Marian Goodman NY in 2005.
During the past two decades Gerhard Richter has made several important cycles of abstract paintings. The current exhibition follows on other recent series of abstract works by Richter, including the Silicate paintings of 2003; the Cage paintings of 2006, conceived as a single coherent group and first displayed in 2007 at the 52nd Venice Biennale curated by Rob Storr; and a recent group of white abstract works exhibited at Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris in 2008.
A fully illustrated catalogue, Gerhard Richter: Abstract Paintings, 2009 has been published on the occasion of the exhibition and includes a new text by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Modern Art History at Harvard University. The catalogue also includes full-color reproductions of the exhibition. In his essay, Buchloh traces the historical and aesthetic framework of Richter's abstract paintings and considers the artist's recent white non-representational works within the larger context of a postwar trajectory of reductivist painting in the US and Europe.
In the current exhibition, a continuum of production procedures can be seen to be inherent in the recent history of the artist's abstract works. "Richter's deployment of texture, structure, and gesture in painting deliberately suspends itself between scientific and expressive conceptions of painterly process. It is oscillating with the same deliberation, between painting as an act and painting as an accident, between composition as a result of mere chance encounters of materials and structures, and composition as the tracing of a subject's residual intentionality." (B. Buchloh, in Gerhard Richter: Large Abstracts, Hatje Cantz, 2008).
Of the new white paintings in particular Buchloh writes, "We should begin by noting that the white surfaces in the recent paintings do not function in the manner of tabula rasa that effaces color altogether…but rather in the manner of a palimpsest. More than mere elisions or eclipses of color, these monochromes operate with alternating and intertwining layers and lesions of paint, their partial removal a simultaneity of addition and subtraction. All of the new paintings allow residual colors to break through in minuscule quantities and in unpredictable, seemingly aleatory structures (never quite painted, never quite drawn, suspended between an intentional graphic incision or an aleatory splintering of paint and an accidentally formed ridge or edge of pigment and paste, the haphazard byproduct of an awkward brush move with various tools that have replaced the skillfully handled brush. The tools themselves – primitive wooden rulers or squeegees—perform the transition between craft and industry and between chance and control, enacting thereby the ambiguity between artisanal competence and mechanical execution)." (Gerhard Richter: Abstract Paintings, 2009, Marian Goodman Gallery, NY, 2009).
In the last two years several prominent solo museum exhibitions of Richter's work have recently been on view in Europe, including in 2008 Gerhard Richter: Abstract Paintings, Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris; Gerhard Richter: Opening of the Richter Room at the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London; Gerhard Richter: 48 Portraits, DePont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands; Gerhard Richter: Paintings 1963-2007, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; Gerhard Richter: 4900 Colors, Serpentine Gallery, London; Gerhard Richter: Overpainted Photographs, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, which traveled later to Centre de la photographie, Geneva, and Fundacion Telefonica in 2009; and Gerhard Richter: Abstract Paintings, Museum Ludwig, Cologne which traveled to Haus der Kunst, Munich in 2009.
This past year, in 2009, solo shows have included: Gerhard Richter: Retrospective at the Albertina, Vienna; Gerhard Richter: Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London; Richter en France, Musee de Grenoble, Grenoble; and Gerhard Richter: Paintings from Private Collections, MKM, Duisburg, and others.
Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in the former German Democratic Republic in 1932, where he lived until 1961, studying first at the Kunstakademie, Dresden from 1951-1956, and then, after leaving for the West (in 1961), at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf, from 1961-1963. He has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the Staatspreis of the State Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, in 2000; the Wexner Prize, 1998; the Praemium Imperiale Award, Japan, 1997; the Golden Lion of the 47th Biennale, Venice, 1997; the Wolf Prize in Israel in 1994/5; the Kaiserring Prize der Stadt Goslar, Mönchehaus-Museum für Moderne Kunst, Goslar, Germany, 1988; the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Vienna, 1985; the Arnold Bode Prize, Kassel, 1981; and the Junger Western Art Prize, Germany, 1961.
Over the past decade important exhibitions of the artist's work have included: Painting as Mirror, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan and Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Sakura-City, Japan; "18.Oktober 1977", exhibited for the first time in Richter's home town of Dresden, Germany at the Galerie Neue Meister, Albertinium. Gerhard Richter, a retrospective at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K20), Düsseldorf, Germany, and Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich. Gerhard Richter: Image After Image, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark. Atlas and Paintings, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; 40 Years of Painting, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Art Institute of Chicago, SF MoMA, San Francisco, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Eight Gray, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin. Atlas, Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Sakura-City, Japan; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan, Oita Art Museum, Japan. In 2000: Drawings, Watercolors, New Paintings: Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany; Watercolors and Drawings 1964-1999, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden, Germany. In 1999, Gerhard Richter: Drawings 1964-1999, was shown at Kunstmuseum Winterthur, accompanied by a catalogue raissoné of the drawings.
Important group exhibitions have been numerous and include, most recently, Art of Two Germanys/ Cold War Cultures, LACMA, Los Angeles (2009); the recent inauguration of the permanent collection galleries in the new Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago and a gallery devoted to Richter's work; Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); The 52nd International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2007); 30/40: A Selection of Forty Artists from Thirty Years at Marian Goodman Gallery, Part One (2007); From Caspar David Friedriech to Gerhard Richter: German Paintings from Dresden, The Getty Center, Los Angeles (2006); Six Gray Mirrors, 2003 in the re-installation of the permanent collection at Dia: Beacon, Beacon, NY, 2003; Documenta 10, 9, 8, & 7, Kassel; and the 52nd, 47th, , 40th, & 36th Venice Biennale(s), Venice.
Gerhard Richter, 894-1 "Abstract Painting", 2005. Oil on aludibond, 11-3/4 x 17-3/8 in. Inv.#12624. Courtesy: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.
Gerhard Richter, 908-10 "Abstract Painting", 2009. Oil on wood, 23-5/8 x 19-5/8 in. Inv.#12665. Courtesy: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.