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Digital Print, 2011
Signed Print Edition of 72
H 32cm x W 92cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This signed 2011 digital print is the work of venerated German visual artist, Gerhard Richter. Entitled Strip, the work belongs to both the artist’s Photography collection and a series entitled Strip Paintings, which the artist began in 2010.
Comprising a number of thin strips of individual colour, arranged horizontally, this digital print marks Richter’s first forays into digital ‘painting’ - a practice championed by the likes of Warhol and Hockney. Building on the conceptual frameworks behind the abstract Cage Grid and Flow series, this print sees Richter turn to photography as a technological and artistic means to re-work his painterly productions. Although wholly different in terms of composition, Strip engages in a direct dialogue with Richter’s seminal painting, Abstraktes Bild (P1). As outlined in the artist’s book, Patterns: Divided, Mirrored, Repeated, to make Strip Richter first photographed several different areas of Abstraktes Bild (P1), a painting completed in 1993. The artist then stretched these photographs using a photo editing software to produce a number of individual layers, each ‘filled’ with an area of block colour taken from the original painting. Lastly, these would be arranged and then laminated onto aluminium.
Recalling the work of British artist, Bridget Riley, this artwork is testament to the heterogeneity and innovation of Richter’s artistic practice. Harnessing the representational powers of photography, which he has referenced in countless photorealist paintings, such as Betty (1991), and in his Übermalungen (‘overpainted photographs’), Richter puts the medium to work on his abstracts. Testing, stretching, and redefining the remit of the abstract painting, Richter testifies to his own capacity for innovation.