Saturday, July 21, 2012

Richter Retro

The Pompidou is hosting a lavish Gerhardt Richter retrospective, which helps confirm the artist's place as one of the most important living painters.  The exhibition traces Richter's development from blurry monochrome photorealism through controlled accidents in colorful abstractions, revealing a continuity between these ostensibly divergent periods.  At one point, Richter even self-parodies showing a stepwise move from realism to its dissolution, echoing evolutions familiar from Turner and Mondrian.  The curators also portray an ongoing engagement with Duchamp, with an homage to the nude descending the stairs and a series of large glass works.  But unlike Duchamp, who asks about the bounds of art, Richter is forever concerned with the nature of painting.  At times, Richter even tries to paint paint.