My London diary has a lot to do with going to galleries and museums, contemplating at artworks that some of which I can only appreciate visually. However, one of the most exciting pieces of art showing in London right now is an exhibition of new and recent works by a 82-year-old German painter Gerhard Richter. Consisting of over 40 works, with important bodies of new ‘Strip’, ‘Flow’ and ‘Doppelgrau’ paintings, the show will also include a large glass sculpture and a selection of key earlier pieces.
‘Flow’ paintings suggest the gestural currents of enamel paint that have been frozen in motion at the moment Richter fixed a pane of glass directly to the surface of a painting in process on the floor – arresting a once fluid image at a precise chosen instance. His technique of pouring and manipulating paint captures a tension between chance versus the decisive gesture of the artist’s hand. And, while the glass face of each work serves to magnify the materiality of the paint, it also removes the element of direct tactility and undermines how immediacy of touch is typically supposed to facilitate an expressive connection between painter and viewer. Richter leaves us instead with a smooth surface that not only distances us from subjective gesture, but also reflects ourselves and our surroundings.
The series of ‘strip’ paintings are massive, with one measuring in at ten metres across. Each piece is a manipulated photograph of one of Richter’s own abstract paintings. He divides, zooms and stretches, leaving behind a field of stripes that seems to expand, contract and shimmer like an optical illusion.
But the series of work that I like the most in this exhibition were this small painted photographs that he invited us to come close and look in their augmented details.
The new Marian Goodman Gallery London is housed in a former Victorian factory warehouse measuring 11,000 square feet over two floors, which has been completely renovated with the help of David Adjaye. The gallery is located on Soho’s Golden Square and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am-6:00pm.
For further information please visit Marian Goodman