Gerhard Richter

Anthony d'Offay Gallery/Faggionato Fine Arts

Ravishing though they be, Gerhard Richter’s abstractions disturb when around fifty of them are seen at one time, especially when we discover that all but one were made in just over a year. Most of them, also, were produced by the same method, and have a consistent “look”—a look that, with few exceptions, has not changed much since d’Offay’s last Richter exhibition, in 1995, a show that itself contained over forty paintings. Nor were these latest abstractions the whole exhibit, which also contained a half-dozen representational works, three photographs, and a pair of sculptures, all from roughly the same period. (The show filled the four d’Offay galleries; a series of forty-eight photographs, images of encyclopedia illustrations that Richter turned into a series of paintings in 1971 and ’72, was also on view at Faggionato.)

With another artist such a presentation might provoke cynical

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