Tag Archives: Gerhard Richter

Arbitrary Beginnings, Well Known Ends

Further on in the Richter film, starting at 54 minutes, there’s a conversation between the artist and Benjamin Buchloh. They hit on all the points I make in the book, and the conclusion is as I described it. Richter knows … Continue reading

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Decisions, Maybe Bad Ones

This video of Gerhard Richter in his studio shows him painting a couple of largish abstracts, with three big pots of paint—yellow, red and blue—and a wide brush. The sequence in question is from 12-23 minutes. It’s a pleasure to … Continue reading

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A Polemic

Another chapter of my book looks at that universal favorite, Gerhard Richter. It may be the first genuine critique of an overrated artist, and the book is probably worth the price for that alone. It’s not original though; I take … Continue reading

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Normalized

I’m aware of how hokey the previous post became toward the end—the list of artist destroyers is pop art history, and not very good pop art history at that. However, those pairs—Malevich/Mondrian, Pollock/Rothko and Stella/Richter—are in an important sense my … Continue reading

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Destruction

Further to the phenomenon of iconoclasm or demolition of cultural monuments—the first thing that comes to mind is that modern art has always been iconoclastic and in fact very destructive. I’m enraged to read about the burning of old Korans … Continue reading

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Artist of Conflict, Artist of Repression

In our time the great artist of conflict is Frank Stella. His over busy and crowded compositions are nothing other than a battle of forms—and to say that doesn’t mean they are not also a dance of forms and a … Continue reading

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The Other

In Cologne Gerhard Richter is a common presence, as one might expect. In the conference center I saw a couple of pictures by another artist that at first I mistook for Richter. Are they as good? Debatable point, but the … Continue reading

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Richter’s Church Art

I went to see Richter’s window in the cathedral of Cologne, and my first impression was that it blended in well with the other windows, which may be a good thing for the church, but doesn’t necessarily help the reputation … Continue reading

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A Small Group

Speaking about coteries, a recent article in the NYT points out that there are world wide an estimated 200,000 or thereabouts of individuals with more than $30 million in assets, yet the total bidders at Christie’s spring 2014 auctions of … Continue reading

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Entropy

Reading a book by Leonard Susskind, which gives me further perspective on the topic of abstraction and information loss—something I’ve written about but never fully understood. Or rather, I have trouble following the scientists when they say that nature is … Continue reading

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Arthoodication

My favorite blog writer, Alfredo Triff, has recently picked up on the article about Stefan Simchowitz that was going around a while ago. He makes his usual great analysis. But what strikes me is that just because a lot of … Continue reading

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Two Big Attack Painters

Recently came across two dedicated and serious practitioners of abstract art – Dona Nelson and Jackie Saccoccio. I like their work, both of them, but my objection to it is what they have in common – they are both “big … Continue reading

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The Sameness of Abstraction

Recently I came across a review of the Nada art fair in The Art Newspaper, which amounted to the observation that abstract painting was everywhere and that it all looked the same. Actually the reviewer was warning that it will … Continue reading

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An Artist’s Life 2

The religion of work and work as religion are slightly different things. The first is a substitute for any number of things, the second is the model of a successful life for a modern person. In this case “religion” is … Continue reading

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Gallerists and Dealers

I just came across a catalog of Picassos in the Nahmad collection. The Nahmad family is an art dealing dynasty that goes back a couple of generations. Recently Helly Nahmad was busted for running an illegal gambling ring in his … Continue reading

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Symmetry

The discussion of symmetry in an earlier post might seem strange to most readers, who likely think of it as a left/right mirroring, such as we have in our bodies. Science makes a more fundamental use of the concept. An … Continue reading

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Variable Decline

Adorno’s ruminations on the difficulty of “new music” include the following, which supports my own earlier comments on Richter-style abstraction and music: “Tonal complexes [in Wagner]…are already conceived in such a way as not to be perceived with the same … Continue reading

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Anton Ehrenzweig

I’m just reading Anton Ehrenzweig‘s The Hidden Order of Art, though I’m ashamed to admit that it took so long to get to it. Years ago I was a close student of Robert Smithson, and this was his main reference. … Continue reading

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The Price of Greatness

Readers of this blog will know that I am a great admirer of the work of Frank Stella. It seems I’m in a minority. I was talking to a friend who calls him the Leroy Neiman of contemporary art, and … Continue reading

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The Series

In my view, Richter’s important contributions to abstraction have been the color charts and something that I call “the edition of unique works.” The latter might be the most important, and I have talked about it on this blog. But … Continue reading

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Noise

Following from the previous post, as an example of visual noise I would like to present any abstract work by Gerhard Richter. Pictures like this are the high class, supremely tasteful equivalent of stadium rock, a sclerotic form if there … Continue reading

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Critique as mourning

Benjamin Buchloh’s very consistent position, influential in the art world for decades,  reads today as a lament for the lost values of European humanism. That may sound absurd at first, but it becomes more clear as one realizes that his … Continue reading

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Pompiers and Firetenders

After pondering the problem for a while I think I understand what Benjamin Buchloh means when he describes Frank Stella’s work as “myth.” If an artist makes coloristic and formal choices, if they work with their materials through both their … Continue reading

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Artists and Academics

With misgivings I temporarily swerve away from the formal discussion of Stella’s Moby Dick series to an art world perspective. Benjamin Buchloh recounts that Gerhard Richter intervened to help scuttle Stella’s proposal for a museum in Dresden, Richter’s home town. … Continue reading

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So far

This blog is getting complex, and though I’m glad to be getting comments on older posts I’m also afraid that some good moments will be lost because of the very nature of a blog, which is that it is always … Continue reading

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Between Richter and Motherwell

To make his “Lyric Suite,” named after a composition by Alban Berg, Motherwell put on the record and started to paint, with ink and various kinds of colors, on small pieces of Japanese paper. The feeling of rightness in the … Continue reading

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Richter’s editions

I’m critical of Richter for his achievement of generalized effects, but I have to admit that when he deliberately foregrounds the generic, in other words when he is a bit more of a conceptualist, he has made some very strong … Continue reading

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Non-conceptual

I’m aware that the previous post did not correctly describe how Byron Kim makes his work, and I also know that he makes other kinds. The resemblance of his carefully painted monochromes to paint chips is in this viewer’s eyes, … Continue reading

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