Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting

Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting

by Robert Storr, Thelma Golden
     
 

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Ranging from photo-based pictures to gestural abstraction, Gerhard Richter's diverse body of work calls into question many widely held attitudes about the inherent importance of stylistic consistency, the "natural" evolution of individual artistic sensibility, the spontaneous component of creativity, and the relationship of technological means and mass

Overview

Ranging from photo-based pictures to gestural abstraction, Gerhard Richter's diverse body of work calls into question many widely held attitudes about the inherent importance of stylistic consistency, the "natural" evolution of individual artistic sensibility, the spontaneous component of creativity, and the relationship of technological means and mass media imagery to traditional studio methods and formats. Unlike many of his peers, he has explored these issues through the medium of painting, challenging it to meet the demands posed by new forms of conceptual art. In every level of his varied output—from his austere photo-based realism of the early 60s, to his brightly colored gestural abstractions of the early 80s, to his startling cycle of black-and-white paintings of the Baader-Meinhof group—Richter has assumed a critical distance from vanguardists and conservatives alike regarding what painting should be. The result has been among the most convincing renewal of painting's vitality to be found in late 20th- and early 21st-century art. With an extensive and insightful critical essay by curator Robert Storr, a recent interview with the artist, a chronology, an exhibition history, and nearly 300 color and duotone reproductions, "Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting" marks a significant contribution to the understanding of contemporary art in general, and Gerhard Richter in particular. By Robert Storr.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With this catalog of the first major U.S. retrospective of the remarkably diverse paintings of the German-born Richter, Storr (senior curator of painting and sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, NY; Gerhard Richter: October 18, 1977) sets out to increase our understanding of Richter to parallel that of American contemporary post-abstract expressionists (among them, Jasper Johns and Robert Ryman). Storr's fascinating introductory and biographical essay frames the historical, art, and personal movements that have provoked Richter's exploration of painting's place in a world rent by World War II, photography, and abstraction. Among other insights, Storr hits on the distancing discomfort of studying Richter's photo-based paintings when he cites the painter's "calculated discretion" in dealing with catastrophic subject matter, such as aspects of the Holocaust. Over 200 color and duotone images, gorgeously reproduced, firmly document the full range of this vital artist, encompassing everything from his intense, colorful abstractions to his gray-scale photo-reproductions to his highly realistic portraits and still lifes, and more. An interview with Richter fills out the book. This will be the standard on Richter for some time to come, and it is essential for all serious art collections. Rebecca Miller, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870703584
Publisher:
The Museum of Modern Art
Publication date:
01/01/2002

Meet the Author

Gerhard Richter was born in 1932 in Dresden, Germany. Since the early 1960s he has emerged as one of the essential painters of the postwar period, pioneering photorealism with paintings made from found photographs (amateur snapshots, advertisements and book and magazine illustrations) and then from his own photographs. His work has also profoundly engaged with and influenced such genres as Pop and abstract art. A retrospective of Richter's work was shown in 2001 at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition was one of the largest ever organized there for a living artist, and traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.

Robert Storr is a curator, artist and critic who is the Dean of the Art School at Yale University. Among his many books is Modern Despite Modernism.

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