Abstract Landscape Photography

New Loves #1: Gerhard Richter

According to my Pinterest boards I’ve been aware of Gerhard Richter and his work for some years, but it was only seeing this picture

Oil painting, White, by Gerhard Richter
White (oil on paper, 2006), by Gerhard Richter.

a few days ago that led me to see how important he/it is to me. It reminds me of the slightly grubby net curtained windows of my childhood. There’s a holiday cottage feel; is that a garden of salt wind battered shrubs veiled by the nylon? I can see a shingle beach, cut knees, a much worn hand-knitted sweater of dubious origin, a burger van run by a grumpy man too fat to stand on his feet all day. As you can imagine I was instantly smitten, and went straight to his website to find out as much as I could about Richter. I’ve barely stopped looking since. And I found this:

Apples: Gerhard Richter, 1988, oil on canvas
Gerhard Richter: Apples (1988, oil on canvas)

which I assumed was a photograph (until put right by the caption). It’s like the love child of an Antonio Lopez Garcia painting, and a Josef Sudek photograph, and I find myself quite hypnotised by it. Add

Rosen: Gerhard Richter (oil on canvas, 1994)
Gerhard Richter: Rosen (1994, oil on canvas)

and you’ll begin to see a pattern, if not to Richter’s work than in my choices. He does with oil paint what I want to be able to do with a camera. Or, for that matter, fiction and poetry. I’m not quite sure what that is, but I know it’s something to do with domesticity; perspective (seeing, not seeing); memory, and fragility. And that’s all I can say for now, but here are another couple, just for your delight:

Haus - Gerhard Richter (1992, oil on canvas)
Gerhard Richter, Haus (1992, oil on canvas.

 

Woman's Head in Profile - Gerhard Richter
Gerehard Richter, Woman’s Head in Profile, (oil on canvas, 1966).

4 Comments

  1. I really like the first picture. Not sure why. It makes me think of a glass of water. The composition is wonderful, and I like the contrast of blue/grey and olive green. I like the other pictures, but they’re not as interesting as the first one somehow.

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  2. I agree, and can see your glass of water. The first one is much later so I guess his ideas had coalesced somewhat by then, it can stand alone (I think), whereas the others do better when seen in a series.

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  3. I’ve always had a hard time with Gerhard Richter. These images you show are nothing at all like the pieces I see routinely auctioned for tens of millions of dollars. These are quite fetching but the stuff I’m more familiar with is just a mess.

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