Two complementary styles dominate Gerhard Richters oeuvre: a distinctive, process-oriented type of abstraction and a cold, if ingenious, version of superrealism. As its title indicated, Gerhard Richter: Abstract Paintings offered a capsule history of the artists efforts in abstraction, leaving his realist paintings, as it were, out of the picture. Ohne Titel (1965), the oldest work on view, looked nothing like the later, striated, layered, and color-filled abstractions we associate with Richter. In it, three strips of gray-and-white-painted canvas, arranged in a simple construction resembling two columns and a transom, are affixed to the center of a small, white-primed canvas. Clearly indebted to minimalism, the work stands apart like an adopted child from the family of paintings, completed in the 1980s and 1990s, which form the shows core.
The abstract works from the last twenty years are so rooted in proces ...
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