Gerhard Richter - Vermalung (Braun)
Oil on canvas. 27 x 40 cm. Framed. Signed and dated 'Richter, 72' and work number '78' verso on canvas. Painting 78 of a 120-part work. Edition Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster.
The 120 canvases were hung in the studio in a block of 270 x 480 cm, painted as a whole and then offered individually at Westfälischer Kunstverein.
The “Inpaintings”, a subject that Richter repeatedly turns to over the years and varies in different colour variations, are made, similarly to the "Jungle Pictures" created in 1971 for the 36th Venice Biennale, out of the process and the interweaving of infinite brush strokes. In a letter to the art historian Jean-Christophe Ammann dated 1973, Gerhard Richter described this process as follows: 'The brush draws the given path from colour spot to colour spot, first mediating, then more or less destroying, mixing, until there is no more untouched place, all almost a pulp, equal interweaving of form, space and colour. Pictures that arise from doing, without creation, not creative, in the true sense of this untruthful word (I mention this because I detest the word) - certain but creatural. To illustrate the fascination that the jungle-like interweaving of forms exerts on me: As a child, I used to rub my finger on my empty, slightly greasy dinner plate with loops, curves that overlap again and again, resulting in fantastic spatial structures that change according to the lighting, which can be formed endlessly. I find that more attractive than the static form, than the set sign, to change and let flow, to relativize, that has a lot to do with Informel, which suits me very well, because it is the opposite of death. (Gerhard Richter in: Hans-Ulrich Obrist (ed.), Gerhard Richter, Text, Schriften und Interviews, Frankfurt a. Main i.a. 1993, p.74).
Gerhard Richter is a master at avoiding painterly conventions. In the “Inpaintings (brown)”, the pastose paint application and the clearly visible brushstrokes form a network of dynamic movements in infinite, curvy paths that continue in each individual work. By reproducing this subjective pictorial expression as a series, Richter skilfully and critically questions the uniqueness of gestural painting. Likewise, a large-scale, supposedly planned and balanced abstract composition is broken down into its individual parts, which again take on a unique character due to the specific appearance of the respective section. Stylistically, Richter avoids any hierarchy of colour and surface and lacks an individual expression as well as a recognisable image composition. With his “Inpaintings”, Richter tests and analyses an abstract gestural painting that can be seen in close relationship to contemporary movements of Informel and conceptual art.
Butin 46; Elger 325-78
Dieter Ronte collection, Bonn; private collection, Hesse