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Gerhard Richter

Overpainted Photographs

April 9–June 8, 2019
Davies Street, London

Installation video Play Button

Installation video

Installation view Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view

Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view

Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view

Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view

Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Installation view

Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (09042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Works Exhibited

Gerhard Richter, MV. 92, 2011 Lacquer on color photograph, 4 × 5 ⅞ inches (10 × 15 cm)© Gerhard Richter 2019 (15032019)

Gerhard Richter, MV. 92, 2011

Lacquer on color photograph, 4 × 5 ⅞ inches (10 × 15 cm)
© Gerhard Richter 2019 (15032019)

Gerhard Richter, MV. 98, 2011 Lacquer on color photograph, 4 × 5 ⅞ inches (10 × 15 cm)© Gerhard Richter 2019 (04042019)

Gerhard Richter, MV. 98, 2011

Lacquer on color photograph, 4 × 5 ⅞ inches (10 × 15 cm)
© Gerhard Richter 2019 (04042019)

Gerhard Richter, 4.1.89, 1989 Oil on color photograph, 5 × 6 ⅞ inches (12.7 × 17.5 cm)© Gerhard Richter 2019 (10042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Gerhard Richter, 4.1.89, 1989

Oil on color photograph, 5 × 6 ⅞ inches (12.7 × 17.5 cm)
© Gerhard Richter 2019 (10042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Gerhard Richter, MV. 45, 2011 Lacquer on color photograph, 4 × 5 ⅞ inches (10 × 15 cm)© Gerhard Richter 2019 (10042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Gerhard Richter, MV. 45, 2011

Lacquer on color photograph, 4 × 5 ⅞ inches (10 × 15 cm)
© Gerhard Richter 2019 (10042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Gerhard Richter, Firenze (29.1.2000), 2000 Oil on color photograph, 4 ¾ × 4 ¾ inches (12 × 12 cm)© Gerhard Richter 2019 (10042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

Gerhard Richter, Firenze (29.1.2000), 2000

Oil on color photograph, 4 ¾ × 4 ¾ inches (12 × 12 cm)
© Gerhard Richter 2019 (10042019). Photo: Lucy Dawkins

About

Now there’s painting on one side and photography—that is, the picture as such—on the other. Photography has almost no reality; it is almost 100 percent picture. And painting always has reality: you can touch the paint; it has presence; but it always yields a picture. . . . I once took some small photographs and then smeared them with paint. That partly resolved the problem, and it’s really good—better than anything I could ever say on the subject.
—Gerhard Richter

Gagosian is pleased to present overpainted photographs by Gerhard Richter.

Throughout his long and eminent career, Richter has expanded the potential of image making through a dialogue between old and new media. He began painting over photographs in the mid-1980s, at the very moment when New York Neo-Conceptual artists were engaging with questions of image appropriation and reproduction, and the German Neo-Expressionists were focusing rather on the sheer emotionality of paint. Richter has continued to bridge these two lines of inquiry into the present day, probing their tensions as photographic technologies become increasingly pervasive. Unlike his photo paintings of the 1960s (in which he translated found and personal photographs into arrestingly lifelike, out-of-focus paintings), the works in this exhibition retain their status as printed photographs—made with light rather than the artist’s hand—yet they are complicated by the application of paint, which merges photographic reproduction with abstract materiality.

Included in the exhibition are works from Museum Visit (2011), Richter’s largest series of overpainted photographs, comprising over two hundred individual images. Taken during a visit to Tate Modern in London during the run-up to Panorama, his retrospective at the museum in 2011–12, the photographs capture the flux of visitors throughout a single day in a handful of specific locations. Richter narrates the increasing flow of visitors with different paint colors, obscuring areas with the squeegees he uses for his distinctive smeared abstractions. Screens of white communicate when there are few people in the galleries, and bright and bold colors indicate when the crowds and subsequent activity grow.

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