New York

Gerhard Richter

Marian Goodman Gallery | New York

Despite Robert Storr’s brilliant effort to reclaim Gerhard Richter for human emotion in the artist’s 2002 MoMA retrospective, the glassy chill of his work reasserted itself in his recent show at Marian Goodman Gallery. The exhibition fell roughly into three parts, of which the first presented a familiar mystery: How do Richter’s squeegeed abstractions, utterly strange in their fusion of Expressionism and impersonality, manage both to seduce through their color and detail and to put ravishment out of reach through what Arthur Danto has called their “protective cool”?

Cool is subjective, of course, and I visited the show with a painter who praised the works for their sexiness. The viewer must also contend with the natural instinct of curators and dealers to choose as powerful a group of works as possible, an impulse honored in this show. It does occasionally happen, though, that Richter’s

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