Gerhard Richter (1932-)


Gerhard Richter, Composições abstractas a óleo e aguarela, executadas entre 1982 e 1992

Richter, na composições abstractas em que usa tinta espessa, obtém misturas cromáticas e texturas inesperadas através de um arrastamento controlado de porções de tinta, calculando a distância de arrastamento, a quantidade de cor e o percurso seguido pela tinta ao ser arrastada.

No “microsite”, é possível observar uma série de composições abstractas nas quais foi usada uma gama muito limitada de cores, quase sempre primárias.

O óptimo site do artista:

As fotografias pintadas de Richter (Overpainted photographs)

“By placing paint on photographs, with all their random and involuntary expressiveness, Gerhard Richter reinforces the unique aspect of each of these mediums and opens a field of tension rich in paradoxes, as old as the couple – painting / photography – which has largely defined modern art.”

Text from Centre de la Photographie website

© Gerhard Richter ‘9.4.89′

© Gerhard Richter ‘11.4.89′

© Gerhard Richter ‘11.3.89′

© Gerhard Richter ‘5.Juli.1994′

© Gerhard Richter ‘11.2.98′

© Gerhard Richter ‘22.2.96′

“The public scenes, whether on the beach or the ski slope or children’s theatre, are beset with sudden surges of colour that tend to resemble interventions of the sky or elemental forces, more than the moods of a decorative or ornamental painter annotation. Sometimes they seem like catastrophic visions. Blood-red snowflakes dance above the white fern. The photo shows skyscrapers in the urban morning sun – and the oil paint adds to the sulpherous fire that pours over the city from the sky”

Botho Strauss in Gerhard Richter: Overpainted Photographs (Hardcover)

© Gerhard Richter ‘11.Febr.05′

© Gerhard Richter ‘22.1.2000′ (Firenze)

There is something unsettling in Richter’s serendipitious interventions. Using his own prosaic 10 x 15cm colour photographs that have been commercially printed as the basis of the works, Richter overlays the surface of the photograph with skeins of paint that disturb the reflexivity of each medium. Dragging the photograph through the paint or using a palette knife to apply layers of colour, the surfaces of paint and photograph no longer exist as separate entities. The process produces punctum like clefts rent in the fabric of time and space. If the intervention is judged unsuccessful the result if immediately destroyed.

In 5.Juli.1994 (above) blood red fingers of paint strain upwards as they invade the solidity of a dour suburban home, echoing the invading trees branches at top right of picture. In 11.2.98 (above) green paint slashes across the mouth and forehead of a woman in a floral dress, her eyes seemingly bloodshot and pleading stare into the distance to the left of our view, the silent scream strangled in her throat by the vibrations of paint. These are the instantaneous responses of the artist to the photograph, a single mood expounded in irreversible gestures, the actions of the painter’s hand disturbing the indexical link of the photograph and it’s ability to be ‘read’ as a referent of the object it depicts. Richter’s interventions challenge the concept of momentary awareness and offer the possibility of a space between, where the image stands for something else – access to Other, even a contemplation of the sublime.

“The color of paint applied corresponds or contrasts the tonalities of the underlying photograph but link the two through formal relationships of the layers … Often a tense relationship, the results run the gamut of the surreal to the beautiful to the disturbed. It is all the more surprising that each in its perceived completeness was in essence accomplished by chance and trial and error.”1

© Gerhard Richter ‘20.1.2000′ (Firenze)

© Gerhard Richter ‘22.4.07′

“Richter’s painterly gestures bounce off the [photographs] content in peculiar ways, sometimes interacting with it, sometimes overlaying it and sometimes threatening to eclipse it altogether. The final effect is to cause both photography and painting to seem like incredibly bizarre activities, disparate in texture but often complicit in aspiration.” 2

“I love the violence, the sometimes subversive sometimes transcendental ‘equivalence’ of these images: where a Steiglitz cloud can stand for music, where a Minor White infrared photograph posits a new reality, Richter offers us an immediacy that destroys the self-reflexive nature of everyday life. His spontaneous musings, his amorphous worlds, his bleeds and blends crack open the skin of our existential life on earth. Here, certainly, are ‘the clefts in words, the words as flesh”.

M Bunyan