new-york

Gerhard Richter

Onnasch Gallery

Gerhard Richter raises questions of implicit value structure—not whether you like, but accept his premises. Richter’s paintings contradict successful contemporary, and especially American art over the last 15 years or so. He challenges the “single idea” approach of artists who take narrow areas of inquiry and explore them obsessively, an inquiry cutting across ideological grounds and applicable to all manner of artists. He rejects the single idea, choosing instead broad swathes of inquiry which he explores in a wide variety of ways.

Richter not only alternates between figuration and abstraction, but he also paints differently in both these modes. Sloppy expressionism and meticulous classicism coexist. Seeing Richter’s extraordinary mix is bewildering. Although all the paintings are large—they range from big, just under life-size to gigantic, just over 20’ long—you have to adjust from private

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.