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Gerhard Richter: Auto (Car) - Signed Print

Auto (Car)
Signed Print

Gerhard Richter


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Lithograph, 1969
Signed Print Edition of 120
H 36cm x W 46cm

Joe Syer

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Critical Review

In this image, Richter turns his attention toward an object steeped in the consumerist ideologies of Western Capitalism of the immediate Post-War period - the car. Richter makes use of the aerial view with which he has experimented in his Swiss Alps and photorealist Cloud prints, harnessing its representative powers to question traditional art historical perspective.  All is not what it seems, however: this work is adapted from a photograph shot through a window, but the car at the centre of the image is in fact a model, mounted on the window frame. ‘Set up’ in the same vein as a model for a stage set, this work sees Richter experiment with composition in a playful manner.

All the more whimsical than the artist's serious, architecturally-focused paintings - such as Bahnhof Hannover (1967) - Auto (Car) - this print suggests Richter’s glee at having found himself in an entirely new environment, wholly dissimilar from that in which he grew up. In 1961, Dresden-born Richter escaped the German Democratic Republic - or ‘East Germany’ - just a few weeks before the building of the Berlin Wall. He would never see his parents again. Settling in the affluent Rheinland city of Düsseldorf, West Germany, Richter - then just 29 - began studying at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Karl Otto Götz, a pioneer of the Art Informel movement.

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