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Digital Print, 2014
Unsigned Print Edition of 500
H 33cm x W 44cm
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Jasper Tordoff, Acquisition Coordinator
Issued in a limited edition of 500 in 2014, this unsigned digital print by acclaimed German artist Gerhard Richter is entitled Ifrit (P8). Quite unlike other works in Richter’s Abstract collection, it references an image created by the artist as part of the 2010 Ifrit series: his first major foray into the medium of lacquer.
Whilst other prints in Richter’s Abstract collection make tangible and visual reference to his innovative use of large, home-made ‘squeegees’ as a means to apply paint to a canvas surface, Ifrit (P8) testifies to the artist’s use, from 2010, of a new medium: lacquer. Resembling the dynamic and alchemical effects produced by marbling during the 19th century, this work sees Richter engage, once again, with non-representation and abstraction. Quite unlike works inspired by Richter’s Atlas - an enormous compilation of image-based materials compiled over the course of the artist’s long and epoch-defining career - Ifrit (P8) takes a deep stare into the creative possibilities afforded by chance, error, and a loose hand.
Deviating from his photographic, historically referential works, which include the iconic images Onkel Rudi (1965) and September (2005), Richter makes a roundabout return to his time at art school during the 1950s and 60s. At the Dresden Academy - an institution then under the control of East Germany’s ruling SED party and firmly within the Soviet sphere of influence - Richter was restricted to reproducing ‘socialist realist’ styles, and large-scale political murals. This experience - coupled with a visit to the 1959 Documenta exhibition, where Richter was introduced to ground-breaking Western art, and the likes of Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso - had a lasting effect. Constantly calling for the ‘death’ of traditional painting, Richter has continued to challenge artistic norms and boundaries.