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Gerhard Richter: 1260 Farben (1260 Colours) - Signed Print

1260 Farben (1260 Colours)
Signed Print

Gerhard Richter


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Lithograph, 1974
Signed Print Edition of 75
H 58cm x W 76cm

Joe Syer

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Critical Review

Much like 9 Von 180 Farben (9 Of 180 Colours), this print is concerned with colour. Comprising 1260 blocks of individual, block colour, the work is arranged in a grid formation. Speaking to Richter’s sustained interest in ordered and procedural creative processes, the print’s composition imbues it with a conflicting sense of disorder nonetheless. Yellow tones, recognised first by the human eye, stand out from other areas of purple, black, and light blue, giving the work a sense of imbalance. This imbalance then disconnects the composition from its creator, pushing the viewer to wonder whether a machine was involved in its creation.

The intricacy of this mosaic-like piece recalls the rise of digital art in the 20th and 21st century - a movement that has seen artists turn towards and harness the creative possibilities afforded by computers. Although created by Richter during the 1970s, this work is testament to the continued importance of colourism, and the mosaic motif, to the artist’s monumental œuvre: its minimalist, grid-like arrangement of coloured blocks foretells of Richter’s window at Cologne Cathedral, created in 2007. This work, housed in one of the largest religious buildings in the world, comprises 11,500 individual ‘pixels’ and contrasts with the cathedral’s fiercely Prussian, gothic architecture. It is apparently concerned with the ‘non-representational nature of the Divine.’

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