Gerhard Richter’s Seascape Cloudy is a painting that incorporates many of his signature techniques and styles. The work depicts an out-of-focus scene of a metallic sea under a gathering storm, utilizing colors that blur the boundary between painting and photography. This was the first seascape painting that Richter created, with his last one painted in 1998.
Seascape Cloudy is ultimately concerned with perception, playing with different approaches to represent the sea, which has been depicted countless times throughout history. Richter’s use of color blurs the distinction between reality and perception, offering a unique take on this classic subject matter. The piece recalls nineteenth-century German Romantic artists such as Caspar David Friedrich.
Richter deliberately avoids commitment to a single stylistic direction in this work as he does in much of his oeuvre. This avoidance may be interpreted as a response to his early art training or simply as an expression of his own versatility.
Overall, Seascape Cloudy combines various techniques and themes seen throughout Gerhard Richter’s career while also offering up new takes on traditional subjects such as seascapes.