Friday, April 1, 2011

Rebecca Villarreal reviews Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter is a German artist, who has been working for nearly five decades exploring all sorts of mediums including photography. He was born in Dresden Germany in 1932; he lived through Germany’s Nazi era and has lived on both sides of the wall. He studied at the Dresden Art Academy in East Germany and later attended the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in West Germany. He worked with many artists including Sigmar Polke and Konrad Fischer-Lueg, who he co created the group Capitalist Realist.

Richter is well known for his style of painting on photographs and blurred photography. He uses photography in much of his work as a jumping off point to get his ideas to become centered and complete thoughts. He doesn’t look at photography compositionally, but as an objective means to view reality, which he then merges with the subjective views that come with painting. He obscures or blurs most of his work as a means according to him to make everything in the picture equal in importance or unimportance.

I have to say at first when Larry suggested him to me telling me that if you had to know at least one photographer, he was the one to know I was a bit skeptical. The work I initially saw was his over painted photographs which were really neat to look at but not quite my cup of tea. Though after exploring his website and looking at a few more works he really did start to grow on me, I really enjoy his Editions the fuzzy print on card board and other materials produces really interesting images that have a ghost like quality to some and just a great draw to the viewer that forces them to look closer and speculate what the subject is. Even after some time I found a couple of over painted photographs I really liked. He is defiantly an artist that everyone should know.

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