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Posted 08 December 2004 - 07:15 PM
There is an exhibit of works by the German painter, Gerhard Richter at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. I didn't have a chance to see it first hand, but a friend showed me pictures he took of the exhibit. He has a very modernist and post-modernist approach to art, and uses a varied assortment of mediums. Recently he has created a collection of mirrors. I thought it was really interesting how such simple objects as mirrors can be turned into art. It makes me realize how just about anything can be made beatiful or interesting when approached artistically.
Posted 09 December 2004 - 08:37 AM
Richter is a fascinating and important artist. He has worked in so many mediums and styles that that precise thing -- isolating what it is in his artistic hand that remains "Richter" -- is one of the things that, consciously on his part I think, he is going about. The Protean aspect of the "Artist" being, self consciously (at least since Picasso's great commercial success) one of the ongoing threads of the Romantic tradition most embodied in 20th and 21st century visual art. Richter is interesting, as are the other German neo-expressionists (Polke and Beuys to name two others) for their conscious efforts to pick up the pre war European artistic tradition and, in the context of post war Germany, to push that tradition forward and to recast it in their contemporary visions. That process, or dialogue, the conscious awareness of artistic tradition received, and the effort to push it forward in one's lifetime, being a good definition of what makes art viably "contemporary." In this vein, he's done a good deal which appears quite theatrical. In viewing the Stage designs of Chris Wheeldon's recently tweaked production of "VIII" produced by ABT in New York in October, a work originally produced for Stuttgart a few years ago -- a Huge White Rose as a backdrop, turning into a Huge Red Rose for the final scene -- it was impossible not to think of Richter, so much did it resemble his work. One can easily imagine him making just such a pair of paintings and showing them side by side. New York's MOMA's retrospective of Richter's work, which I think travelled, two or three years ago, a huge huge exhibition occupying an entire floor (several hundred works, I would think) was stunning and it was in that context that his importance most appeared.
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