Paris

Gerhard Richter

Marian Goodman Gallery | Paris

Gerhard Richter’s indebtedness to a range of photographic practices has been the taproot of his intensely admired achievements. The incipient force of this approach first emerged in the painter’s adaptations of Andy Warhol in the early 1960s (modifications he worked out concurrently with Sigmar Polke). As Richter’s work developed, its representational and abstract polarities became ever more marked—distinctly separate but equal options. After all, the aesthetic equivalence between abstraction and representation is hardly an abstruse notion; postmodern sensibility cherishes stylistic discontinuity and incongruity rather than pictorial consistency.

This recent exhibition featured forty-seven works, most resembling Richter’s familiar multicolored abstract paintings but also including five remarkable canvases that might be called “white abstractions.” There is also a freak work, a huge square

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