Gerhard Richter masterpiece stars at Christie's alongside Warhol



2015-06-26 12:36:24

Gerhard Richter masterpiece stars at Christie's alongside Warhol

Richter's Gerhard Richter, oil on canvas, is starring with pieces by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol

Here's another highlight from Christie's upcoming auction of an exceptional selection of Pop Art masterpieces at its Post-War and Contemporary Sale, on November 8 in New York.

Frau Niepenberg, painted in 1965, is one of the most dramatic and deliberately enigmatic works from the increasingly ambiguous series of photo-paintings that Gerhard Richter made throughout the mid-1960s (estimate $7,000,000 to $10,000,000).

Painted in the last months of 1965, it is one of a series of fictitious, even misleading images drawn from photographic sources that Richter constructed with meticulous and mock-mechanical precision.

One of Richters ambitions in simulating photography in his work was to claim for painting the same sense of authority, authenticity and objectivity that is implicit in a photograph.

Gerhard Richter Frau Niepenberg Gerhard Richter's Frau Niepenberg, painted in 1965

"I'm not trying to imitate a photograph," Richter famously said of his 1960s photo-paintings, "I'm trying to make one," recognising that, although a photograph gives a far from true picture of reality, it does have fascinating pictorial qualities of its own - qualities that he believed could benefit the very different nature of painting.

"I was able to see... (the photograph) a picture which conveyed a different aspect to me, without all those conventional criteria which I formerly attached to art. There was no style, no composition, no judgment. It liberated me from personal experience. There was nothing but a pure picture."

"I blur things to make everything equally important and equally unimportant," he continued. "I blur things so that they do not look artistic or craftsman-like but technological, smooth and perfect. I blur things to make all the parts a closer fit. Perhaps I also blur out of the excess of unimportant information."

The faux-mechanical nature of Richters blurring was, he has said, something that may have derived from the inspiration of American Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol.

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