Gerhard Richter is a German artist born February 9, 1932. He is 78 and still working. I saw his work at San Francisco MoMa, and also the National Museum of Art, Osaka, and his works were fascinated me.
His early works are from German war time theme depicting from photographs and painted on top as blurry image. I was not interested in war theme too much, but as I have been doing photography, I like the way that he paint kind of semi-realistic (abstract realism) works. Most of his early painting are black and white or monochromatic, that way it gives more documentary feeling and give a sense of curiosity. Other so called Overpainted photographs are figures, nude, landscape, and he is known with the style.
I knew Marcel Duchamp works before than his works, and there was the exhibition that as a theme of art that inspired from photography, and Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2" was next to Richter's "Frau, die Treppe herabgehend Woman Descending the Staircase" and I thought that it was interesting juxtaposition that both in an abstract image, but different approaches.
Another style of Richter is total abstraction mainly painted with enamel in large canvas like 300 by 300 cm. They were hard to tell what they mean, but I thought that they are emotional and aggressive in colors and with the brush stokes.
And I just found his new direction on his series of color study (or computer dot images?) that I think he needs crazy concentration and persistence to go on to paint bunch of different colors on each square dots to fill in the squares. He also uses this kind of paint in enamel so that it shines glare like really looking at a computer screen. This is more like extreme color chart than concept/content oriented. Maybe depicting modern technology, or showing off his ability of color and design.
In the same concept, he has a stained glass work window in the Koln Cathedral that was 11,500 handblown glass squares in 72 colors. That is amazing that his painting expanding into another level of sculptural art.
Additional information that I found in other artists that were assigned that I wanted to share.
I was amazed how large the contemporary works can be, but simple is a series of figure painting. If you see the image of museum with people walking around, you recognize the size better. I think art is getting more like a poster ads on a billboard.
I was surprised that Balthus second wife was Japanese, and he was a friend of Shintaro Katsu. Katsu was popular actor in Japan, died with cancer in 1997. He grew up as a son of nagauta, shamisen, traditional Japanese music family. But he became celebrity in Japanese media world as an actor, singer, producer and director, and he was in many Kurosawa movies. He rarely showed his personal life and do not act in public, so I have never seen this video before. He is like my parents generation to me, and all I knew was trouble with women and acted in yakuza and gang movies. So I was impressed that he respected the artist like Balthus and show his skill in person at secluded Switzerland villa.