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Gerhard Richter: Domecke I (Cathedral Corner) - Signed Print

Domecke I (Cathedral Corner)
Signed Print

Gerhard Richter


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Photographic print, 1998
Signed Print Edition of 60
H 78cm x W 55cm

Joe Syer

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Critical Review

In this print we see Richter turn his attention towards the foundations of Cologne Cathedral - one of the largest gothic buildings in the world. Depicted in a blurred, photorealist style that recalls similar paintings, such as Elisabeth II (1966), Besetztes Haus (Squatter’s House) (1990) and Orchid II (1998), the work is one of two print-based studies of the cathedral issued by Richter in 1998. Unassuming and offering few visual indications as to its location, the base of one of the cathedral’s many flying buttresses is overexposed by a ray of sunlight, which conceals the visual detail of its stone surface.

Copied directly from a photograph, and not painted in situ, the original work after which this print is made serves as a standout example of how Richter’s painterly practice has continued to maintain a close relationship to photography since as early as the 1950s. Domecke I (Cathedral Corner) also gives greater insight into the artist’s relationship to Cologne - his adoptive home city. In 2007, Richter made headlines across Germany and the world when a new stained-glass window was unveiled at the Cathedral. This commission saw Richter depart entirely from religious themes, opting rather for a grid-like formation of 11,500 ‘pixels’ - a stand-in for the ‘non-representational nature of the Divine’. In 2017, Richter gifted the German Reichstag an abstract triptych painting entitled Birkenau. This work is a visual tribute to the victims of the largest concentration camp run by Nazi Germany - Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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