My own experience of Richter’s work is rather limited outside of books and other reproductions. I recall that sometime between 1988-1991 Richter’s name came to my attention, firstly in the art classes and then in the studios and at college: West Park and then Stourbridge. His work was very visible. Richter’s Kerze (Candle) 1983, featured on the cover of Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation (Kerze, 1982 featured on the inside cover). Richter seemed the height of cool.
The early Richter’s are smudgy, smudgy like old news print photographs. “Richter like Andy Warhol appropriated tabloid as well as snapshots” in an attempt to reconnect “his art to the contemporary social world” (Wheeler, 1991 p279). The end result is “deadpan, hands-off” (1991, p. 279). The effects are similar to those in Photoshop as it fuses together the techniques of photography and the visual effects of oil paint. These kinds of effects can be achieved very easily within that programme. The qualities of paint within Richter’s work is very interesting: “whether in full colour or monochrome sepia , the image might be delicately glazed and scumbled to suggest timeless candlelight moment or its surface smudged and dragged to create an impression of a flash in the torrent of media images” (Wheeler, 1991 p.279).
Nasgaard, R., (1988) “Gerhard Richter: The Figurative work” in Neef, T,. (ed) (1988) Gerhard Richter: Paintings, London: Thames and Hudson pp.39-72.
Neef, T,. (ed) (1988) Gerhard Richter: Paintings, London: Thames and Hudson.
Wheeler, D. (1991) Art since Mid-Century: 1945 to the Present, London: Thames and Hudson.