Reading (1994) by Gerhard Richter

Reading - Richter, Gerhard - 1994 - 2

Artwork Information

ArtistGerhard Richter
MediumOil on linen
Dimensions(72.4 x 102.2 cm)
Art MovementNew European Painting
Current LocationSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art
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About Reading

Gerhard Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild (809-3)” is a large abstract painting created in 1994. Using thick brushstrokes and a monochromatic color palette, the painting lacks any recognizable imagery or figurative elements. Richter employed an Abstract Expressionist style, with sweeping brushstrokes that fuse across the canvas in a cohesive motion.

The artwork is part of a series of completely abstract works from the early 1990s. Richter is known for alternating between figuration and abstraction in his work, but this series focused solely on abstraction. Richter often paints detailed under-paintings before considering subsequent layers, and this technique is evident in “Abstraktes Bild (809-3)”.

Richter’s earlier career involved mural painting in the socialist realist style, but he later transitioned to abstract works. For his photo paintings, Richter transfers found photographs onto canvas and then drags a high degree of paint coverage over them. “Abstraktes Bild (809-2)” is another work from the series and was created in the same year as “809-3”. It measures 88 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches. Overall, Gerhard Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild (809-3)” is a notable example of his abstract expressionist style that lacks any recognizable imagery.

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