Gerard Richter’s exhibition
Gerard Richter appeared on the European scene in the early 1960’s with works inspired directly from photographs which he called « photo-paintings ».
« Painting from a picture seemed to me the most unartistic thing that anyone could do ».
Gerard Richter appears to be a complex personality. Indeed he is the artist who has investigated the links between photography and art. He wanted to stress the powerful link between painting and reality.
He immediatly became established as an alternative to American Pop-art and European informal art, defending a new vision of painting.
With his large canvases representing landscapes, mountains, clouds and seascapes he has established himself as an heir to the German romantic tradition. His vaste spaces where nature is the only protagonist recall the melancoly panoramas of Caspar David Friedrich.
Morning, Caspard David Friedrich, 1821
Chinon n°645, Gerard Richter, 1987
Throughout his career G.Richter has created emblematic works alluding to Germany’s past. He was 15 when the Second World War ended and it was impossible for him to emerge unscathed from the horrors of the third Reich.Then he retranscribed this part of the German history, from the 1960’s with photos, of his family or strangers (cut in magazines), that he repainted. Portraits of unknown people, relatives, his photos-paintings which ranged from an uncle in Nazi uniform or an aunt murdered by the same Nazis to holidays or street scenes, just as Germany moved from the horrors of the war to the consumer society.
But G. Richter has essentially painted in his portraits series people of his family, like his daugter with the technic of photo-painting. “I have painted my family so frequently because they are the ones who really affect me the most.”
Betty, Gerard Richter, 1988
Betty, Gerard Richter, 1977
The 1980’s marked the beginning of the large abstract canvases which today represent two thirds of the artist’s production and which have earned him an international recognition.
Abstract canvase, Gerard Richter
« A lot of people find other mediums more attractive- put a screen in a museum and nobody wants to look at the paintings anymore. But painting is my profession, because it has always been the thing that interested me most. And now that I’m of a certain age, I come from a different tradition and, in any case, I can’t do anything else. I’m still very sure that painting is one of the most basic human capacities, like dancing and singing, that make sense, that stay with us as something human. It’s not that I’m always thinking about how to make something timeless, it’s more a desire to maintain a certain artistic quality that moves us, that goes beyond what we are, and that is, in that sense, timeless. »
To my mind, Gerard Richter amazes us thanks to his ability to reinvent himself ; indeed the artist has gone through many artistic movements ( abstraction, landscape painting, historical painting, realistic painting ect..) He is a famous contemporary painter that must be seen, at least, once ; so I advise you to visit this exibition at the George Pompidou modern museum. It will be a great experience for painting lovers but also for the novices !