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Gerhard Richter: Eis 2 (Ice) - Signed Print

Eis 2 (Ice)
Signed Print

Gerhard Richter


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Screenprint, 2003
Signed Print Edition of 108
H 102cm x W 81cm

Joe Syer

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Critical Review

A screen print based on a much larger painting of the same name, which Richter executed in 1989, Eis 2 (I) is a vibrant and dynamic image. Speaking to Richter’s unmatched abilities as an abstract painter, the work comprises a monochromatic background complete with flecks of green, blue, red, and yellow. Revealing many layers of deep colour concealed below, these traces speak to the creative process that saw Richter create this work. Produced using large ‘squeegees’, home-made by Richter’s assistants, the original painting is the end result of hours of deliberation. Covering each squeegee with different colours of oil paint - all ‘classic’ colours, his assistants insist - Richter drags these across the canvas, adding paint before later taking it away. The visible translation of an accidental creative process, this work contrasts with other, semi-realist elements of the War Cut collection, such as Elisabeth II (1966), Besetztes Haus (Squatter’s House) (1990) and Orchid II (1998).

Richter’s unorthodox approach to painting is largely product of his upbringing in both Nazi Germany and, post-1945, the former East Germany, or German Democratic Republic. In both countries, and from a young age, Richter was confronted by the excesses of ideology. In Dresden, his home city, Richter received his first artistic training in a fiercely ideological mode: the Dresden Academy, where he was a student, was confined mostly to teaching a ‘Socialist Realist’ style designed to depict the glories of state Communism. Party to groundbreaking exhibitions in ally-controlled West Berlin on only rare occasions, Richter came to reject his restrictive training, using his artistic practice as a means to bring about the ‘death of painting itself’.

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