Gerhard Richter

December 9, 2008 at 12:03 pm (Uncategorized)

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Gerhard Richter exhibition at the National Gallery.

I found it difficult to appreciate some of Richter’s work painted from photographs, the slightly blurred, blown up images, with deliberately thick and vulgar brush strokes did not appeal to me and I found the subject matter (family portraits and newspaper cut-outs) a little dull. However there were defiantly exceptions in my mind, the ‘Death’ painting with the man crushed by a huge rock was a very strong image to paint, and I love the way Richter has painted photo imperfections such as the ghostly movement of ‘Ema Nude on the Stair’ or the speeding cars travelling so fast that they were almost unrecognisable abstract blurs. I find this way of painting a photograph really refreshing as he is not painting the subject in the photo, but the photo itself and I feel he deliberately chose uncrisp and hazy images to distinguish them as paintings of photographs.

For my digital image journey project I have developed the concept of displaying two weeks in my life through a series of colour coded still images. The images are flicked through really fast, sort of like a flick book with snippets of film included. The idea was that the eye would only be able to pick out the colour and the images would all blur and blend into one moving image. Many of the photographs are taken in low light without flash, and contain so much movement that they verge on obscurity. I think it would be extremely interesting to paint from these images as Richter has done, however I have taken a different path with my painting project so it will have to wait until later in the year.

I was definitely most impressed with Richter’s abstract paintings. His technique being very controlled and planned for something that appears to be very irregular. The differing layers of paint appear to jump out at you, almost 3D, and within the bright colours you can take something very different away from each painting if you gaze at it very close up or from some distance. Not sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me but at a distance I kept seeing pattern or figures within the abstraction, and closer bottom layers of paint appeared to lie on top. This could be a topic for endless discussion, and I could have stared at them for hours, which is why I see it fair to rate them so highly.


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