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Gerhard Richter: Kanarische Landschaften II - f - Signed Print

Kanarische Landschaften II - f
Signed Print

Gerhard Richter

POA

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Photographic print, 1971
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 40cm x W 50cm

Joe Syer

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Critical Review

In this work, it is easy to see why curator Nicholas Serota once described Richter as ‘a painter of photographs, a painter of images’. Like its close relatives, Kanarische Landschaften I - e (1971) and Kanarische Landscahften I - a (1971), Kanarische Landschaften II - f (1971) is made after a holiday photograph taken by the artist himself. Printed in dark grey colours, the work accords the sandy, rugged, and volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands a certain arctic twist. Full of foreboding, the piece incorporates the abstraction of the natural world into its photorealist depiction of the landscape scene.

‘Banal photos’ have interested Richter for a long time. These images are, according to the artist, striking because they are ‘not artificial’. Richter’s love for photography - a passion which has seen him create a so-called ‘Atlas’ comprising thousands of his photographs, found images, and newspaper cuttings - has its roots in an artistic experience he had whilst visiting West Berlin in the 1950s. This experience assumed the form of The Family Of Man exhibition, organised by Edward Steichen of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which was a revelation for Richter. The photographic basis of this particular exhibition had a profound impact on the young artist, who before then ‘knew only paintings’; at last, the power of photography was clear to him - a power he had been unable to experience, or recreate, as a young art student in the East German city of Dresden.

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