Today is the birthday of German visual artist Gerhard Richter!
Be it a rural landscape, a colorful gestural abstraction, or a black-and-white painting based on a family snapshot or image from the newspaper, a certain set of tensions consistently drives Richter’s work: belief versus skepticism, gesture versus erasure, planning versus chance, personal engagement versus objective neutrality. In Richter’s paintings one can identify many of the marks, methods, and forms that have driven the development of modern and contemporary art since the 1950s. But the often discordant way in which the artist brings them together on the canvas cools their rhetorical intensity. The restless quality of these works, in which different modes of painting collide, reflects Richter’s simultaneous hope and uncertainty that painting can faithfully assess contemporary reality.
Pictured here: Richter’s 1969 work, 9 Objekte (9 Objects)