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Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)
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Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)

Grat 2 (689-2)

Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)
Grat 2 (689-2)
signed, numbered and dated '689-2 Richter 1989' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
24 3/8 x 32 5/8in. (61.9 x 82.8cm. )
Painted in 1989
Gallery Ham/Jinno Collection, Tokyo.
Gerhard Richter Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1993, Ostfildern-Ruit 1993, no. 689-2 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Gerhard Richter, November-December 1989.
Paris, Musée d'Art moderne de la ville de Paris, Gerhard Richter, September-November 1993. This exhibition later travelled to Bonn, Kunst-und-Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland; Stockholm, Moderna Museet and Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofiá.
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 we describe a process, or make out an invoice, or photograph a tree, we create models; without them we would know nothing of reality and would be animals. Abstract pictures are fictive models, because they make visible a reality that we can neither see nor describe, but whose existence we can postulate. We denote this reality in negative terms: the unknown, the incomprehensible, the infinite. And for thousands of years we have been depicting it through surrogate images such as heaven and hell, gods and devils.

In abstract painting we have found a better way of gaining access to the unvisualizable, the incomprehensible; because abstract painting deploys the utmost visual immediacy - all the resources of art, in fact - in order to depict 'nothing'. Accustomed to pictures in which we recognize something real, we rightly refuse to regard mere colour (however multifarious) as the thing visualized. Instead we accept that we are seeing the unvisualizable: that which has never been seen before and is not visible. This is not some abstruse game but a matter of sheer necessity: the unknown simultaneously alarms us and fills us with hope, and so we accept the pictures as a possible way to make the inexplicable more explicable, or at all events more accessible.

Of course, pictures of objects also have this transcendental side to them. Every object, being part of an ultimately incomprehensible world, also embodies that world; when represented in a picture, the object conveys this mystery all the more powerfully, the less of a 'function' the picture has. Hence, for instance, the growing fascination of many beautiful old portraits.

So, in dealing with this inexplicable reality, the lovelier, cleverer, madder, extremer, more visual and more incomprehensible the analogy, the better the picture.

"Art is the highest form of hope."

(G. Richter, 'Text for catalogue of documenta 7, Kassel, 1982', in H.-U. Obrist (ed.), Gerhard Richter, The Daily Practice of Painting, Writings and Interviews 1962-1993, London 1995, p. 100).

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