• Post-War & Contemporary Art Ev auction at Christies

    Sale 7758

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction

    16 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 12

    Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)

    Abstraktes Bild

    Price Realised  


    Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)
    Abstraktes Bild
    numbered '477-2' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    59 1/8 x 59 1/8in. (150 x 150cm.)
    Painted in 1981

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    'A picture like this is painted in different layers, separated by intervals of time. The first layer mostly represents the background, which has a photographic, illusionistic look to it, though done without using a photograph. This first, smooth, soft-edged paint surface is like a finished picture; but after a while I decide that I understand it or have seen enough of it, and in the next stage of painting I partly destroy it, partly add to it; and so it goes on at intervals, till there is nothing more to do and the picture is finished. By then it is a Something which I understand in the same way it confronts me, as both incomprehensible and self-sufficient. An attempt to jump over my own shadow...
    'At that stage the whole thing looks very spontaneous. But in between there are usually long intervals of time, and those destroy a mood. It is a highly planned kind of spontaneity' (Richter, 1984, quoted in H.U. Obrist (ed.), Gerhard Richter: The Daily Practise of Painting. Writings and Interviews 1962-1993, London 1995, p. 112).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Uli Knecht Collection, Suttgart.
    Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1980s.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Domus, March 1982 (illustrated in colour, p. 70).
    J. Harten, D. Elger (eds.), Gerhard Richter: Paintings 1962-1985, Cologne 1986, no. 477/2 (illustrated, p. 248).
    B. Buchloh (ed.), Gerhard Richter, Werkübersicht/Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1993, vol. III, Ostfildern-Ruit 1993, no. 477-2 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).


    Bielefeld and Mannheim, Kunsthalle and Kunstverein, Gerhard Richter, January-March 1982.