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Cage (P19-2) - Unsigned Print by Gerhard Richter 2020 - MyArtBroker

Cage (P19-2)
Unsigned Print

Gerhard Richter


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Giclée print, 2020
Unsigned Print Edition of 200

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Meaning & Analysis

Like its close counterparts in the Cage Grid and Cage f.ff series, Cage (P19-2) references Richter’s practice of using large, home-made squeegees to dynamic effect in his paintings. In this particular print, Richter channels the experimental and atonal compositions of American composer and artist John Cage - whose name it references - into a canvas that comprises a series of carefully applied, lateral sections of oil paint. Combining nature’s greens and turquoises with rust-coloured and metallic hues, the work evokes decay of both natural and man-made origin.

This print, like many of Richter’s abstract works, is testament to his fierce rejection of artistic norms, and his early training in socialist realist painting. Bearing the symbolic hallmarks of propaganda art, socialist realism was designed to vaunt the achievements of the former German Democratic Republic, a satellite state of the former Soviet Union. Constrained in terms of the subjects he could depict and the materials he could use, Richter references his artistic formation in the GDR in his often-repeated phrase: the ‘death of painting’. Describing his own artistic goals, both on a methodological and conceptual level, this phrase is very much present in this image: gone is tradition, and all the tightly-defined representational rules that come with it.

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