RELEASE: ABSTRACT MASTERPIECE BY GERHARD RICHTER FROM THE COLLECTION OF ERIC CLAPTON

TO BE SOLD IN NEW YORK ON NOVEMBER 12th ON VIEW IN LONDON AND PARIS

New York

New York Post-War and Contemporary Art - Evening Sale

November 12th, 2013

New York - Christie’s is honored to present Abstraktes Bild (809-1), dating from Gerhard Richter’s finest period of abstraction as one of the highlights of the fall season. Abstraktes Bild (809-1) is coming from the prestigious collection of Eric Clapton, and was acquired at auction in 2001. The painting will be presented in London and Paris before being sold at auction in New York on November 12th.

“Richter is certainly the greatest abstract painter working today, Abstraktes Bild (809-1) is remarkable for the illusion of space that develops, ironically, out of his incidental process: an accumulation of spontaneous, reactive gestures of adding, moving, and subtracting paint. Richter’s palette of pungent gold yellows merged with blue produce a greenish sheen, while blues folded into reds create gradations of purple that parallel textural rhythms. Abstraktes Bild (809-1) has the sense of a full fall abstract landscape," analyzed Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art.

An infinitely evocative meditation on color, texture, and its rhythmic motion across canvas, this magnificent, vibrant work stands among Gerhard Richter’s summary essays in abstraction. Executed in concert with three such masterpieces, this series reflects the artist at the apex of his formalist-aleatory operations. Employing a heady mixture of intention and chance, the artist layers the canvas in a wet-on-wet mélange of primary and secondary colors – red, the darkest of purples, violet, and yellow – creating a richly saturated chromatic field, where flames of red interpenetrate the almost blackened violet hues, and striations of blazing yellow enfold the whole in a sumptuous blanket of impasto. Here dazzling coloration is ravaged by repeated campaigns with both a sharp, wide-headed palette knife and squeegees of various sizes, either entirely clean, fully loaded with oil paint, or distributed lengthwise just along the edge, which are then dragged along the canvas, disturbing its surface.

Arresting in its compositional complexity, effulgent in its coloration, presenting an almost hallucinatory confusion of planes and shapes, Abstraktes Bild (809-1) is stunning for its surface agitations, a riot of textures and color fields that destabilizes even as it rewards looking. 

EXHIBITION

London King Street:  12-18 October 2013

Paris: 23-24 October 2013

New York: 8-12 November 2013

SALE

12 November 2013

Christie’s New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 10020 New York

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.