Gerhard Richter - Untitled (Comic Strip)
Untitled (Comic Strip)
Bound book of 145 pages with pen and ink drawings, stampings and ornamental lettering on paper. Overall 209 sheets, partially from 2 up to 7 sheets pasted together, each India ink, partially double-sided, isolatedly collaged on paper, of which 53 sheets in white. Card cover with plastic covering in wood imitation. Vignette mounted on lid. 20 x 12 x 3 cm. - Minor traces of age.
In 1962, Gerhard Richter's artist book was created, featuring the figure of a man with a wide-brimmed hat as its central motif. For this depiction, Richter cuts stamp templates in various poses, enabling him to reuse the motif in an identical form in fast succession. He refers to earlier works in which he occasionally used the stamp motif. Episodic and fragmental accounts are illustrated, bearing witness to an exceptional ingenuity, without following a clear narrative structure. Ornamental lettering, of which only parts can be deciphered and which mostly completely dissolves into an abstract form, accompany the picture stories. Dietmar Elger mentions the cartoonist Saul Steinberg as one of Richter's main sources of inspiration and as a model for his 'stylistic contrasts between two-dimensional reduction and linear decoration' and also mentions 'meaningless ornamental handwriting'.
The present work comprises elements that are not printed in the reprint 'Comic Strip' published in 2014. Complementary drawings, pages partially stuck together and collages, and also artistic traces of the work process can only be seen in this artist's book, which remained undiscovered for a long time.
'If this book would now be published after all, five decades later, at the request of the artist and by the Gerhard Richter archive, then not because the Gerd back then became the famous and prominent Gerhard Richter of today. These early drawings, showing us such an unknown aspect of the artist, are still fascinating today because of their inventive talent and graphic richness.' (Dietmar Elger, Comic Strip - Richters Märchenbuch für Erwachsene, Vom Sammeln und Forschen in einem Künstlerarchiv, in: Gerhard Richter Archiv: Stand: 07 Feb 2014, (http://gra.hypotheses.org/1161#comments <http://gra.hypotheses.org/1161> (called up 10.10.2017)).
Private collection, Berlin