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Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF BERND F. LUNKEWITZ AUFBAU-VERLAG
Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)

Grau

Details
Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)
Grau
signed, numbered and dated '247-6 Richter 1970' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
78¾ x 39 3/8in. (199 x 100cm.)
Painted in 1970
Provenance
Ulbricht Collection, Dusseldorf.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1980s.
Literature
J. Harten, D. Elger (eds.), Gerhard Richter: Paintings 1962-1985, Cologne 1986, no. 247/6 (illustrated, p. 112).
Gerhard Richter, Werkübersicht/Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1993, vol. III, Ostfildern-Ruit 1993, no. 247-6 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Exhibited
Bonn, Städtische Kunstmuseum, Sammlung Ulbricht, February-March 1982 (illustrated, p. 67). This exhibition later travelled to Graz, Neue Galerie and Dusseldorf, Kunstmuseum, September-October 1983.
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.

Lot Essay

'When I first painted a number of canvases grey all over (about eight years ago), I did so because I did not know what to paint, or what there might be to paint: so wretched a start could lead to nothing meaningful. As time went on, however, I observed differences of quality among the grey surfaces - and also that these betrayed nothing of the destructive motivation that lay behind them. The pictures began to teach me. By generalizing a personal dilemma, they resolved it. Destitution became a constructive statement; it became relative perfection, and therefore painting.

Grey. It makes no statement whatever; it evokes neither feelings nor associations; it is really neither visible nor invisible. Its inconspicuousness gives it the capacity to mediate, to make visible, in a positively illusionistic way, like a photograph. It has the capacity that no other colour has, to make 'nothing' visible.

To me, grey is the welcome and only possible equivalent for indifference, noncommitment, absence of opinion, absence of shape. But grey, like formlessness and the rest, can be real only as an idea, and so all I can do is create a colour nuance that means grey but is not it. The painting is then a mixture of grey as a fiction and grey as a visible, designated area of colour.

Finally; this kind of reductionist painting fascinates me in general, because I believe that it is a highly scrupulous and cautious attempt to achieve correctness, or rather definitiveness, in painting; that it pursues a quality which tends towards the valid and the universal. This seems to me important, in the face of a mindless, proliferating productivity that becomes less and less definitive.' (G. Richter 'Letter to E. de Wilde', 1975, cited in H.-U. Obrist (ed.), Gerhard Richter, The Daily Practice of Painting, London 1995, pp. 82-83.).

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