Gerhard Richter

Anthony D'Offay

Gerhard Richter made his first mirror painting a decade ago. It is a conventionally silvered square of glass, framed with thin wooden battens, which lie flush with the mirror’s surface. As with many abstract paintings, the frame functions less as a decorative border than as a means of protecting the edges without interfering in the dialogue between physical fact and surface illusion. As both an undiscerning reflector of arbitrary truths and the specific site of the viewer’s reflection on the possibility of meaning, the work ties in closely with Richter’s abiding preoccupation with the relationship between photography and painting.

The 1981 mirror was one of three earlier works included in this show as reference points, pulling together a series of abstract paintings and various works on paper made last year, as well as a group of mirror paintings from this year, into something more than

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