Born Dresden, Germany, 1932. Lives Cologne, Germany
Abstraktes Bild (742-4) (Abstract Picture [742-2]), 1991
Oil on wood
57 x 59 inches
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Mimi and Bud Floback in honor of Suzanne Delehanty
Reproduced with the permission of the artist
Photo credit: Sid Hoeltzell
Gerhard Richter’s work often involves an analytical view onto various painting conventions of the past, from traditional portraiture to abstraction. As a young man, Richter saw Jackson Pollock’s celebrated “drip paintings” and marveled at how the artist had activated the entire canvas. Years later, Richter would create his own form of drip painting, by radically different means.
In Abstraktes Bild (742-4), Richter dripped and spattered paint randomly onto a hard wooden surface. He then smeared the paint by scraping a large squeegee-like tool across the surface of the panel, repeating the process several times using different colors. Each layer obscured, blended with, or left exposed the layers beneath. The result is a sense of space that is flat but suggests great depth, much like a reflection in water. Thus, the artist devised a semi-automatic method for the production of a type of work that is often associated with emotive, individualistic expression.