Comments on: Richter Scale http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Lee Triming http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-4172 Mon, 28 Nov 2011 23:14:02 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-4172 yes, i’m really looking forward to that show – i thought his work at sadie coles earlier this year was a bit patchy, but there were some strong paintings in there.

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By: Luke Elwes http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-4165 Mon, 28 Nov 2011 16:25:25 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-4165 If you want to see the influence of Richter’s work on a younger generation – the shuttling between figuration and abstraction, the dispassionate paint surface, the use of photographic sources, the political references – you could look at the paintings of Wilhelm Sasnal, currently on show at the Whitechapel Gallery.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-4159 Mon, 28 Nov 2011 12:39:52 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-4159 Fair enough, its your choice. Just hope I’m not in the same room when the time comes. It would be a long ten minutes with that loo roll.

To be serious, your likes and dislikes (especially at such a moment!) are entirely to be respected; so is it that you don’t think ‘Las Meninas’ is any good, or you just don’t like it? And athough you would choose the loo roll, how would you rate it, objectively? Is it better than ‘Las Meninas’? Or is that not a good question?

And why are we discussing the relative merits of two figurative paintings on the abcrit website? Well, I think there is something in this, should you care to continue…

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By: Lee Triming http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-4038 Fri, 25 Nov 2011 23:30:20 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-4038 Robin, it’s hard to pin down what I like about that painting. I could say that it’s something to do with its mix of simplicity, elegance and banality; that I like how the toilet roll seems to float in space like an unglamorous magic trick; that I enjoy the way that, despite the fact that a toilet roll painted in such a somber way ought by rights to collapse into screeching camp, it somehow manages not to be funny: and that’s all true, but still falls short of why the image holds me. I’ll only add to this that, while I’ve no interest in making any claims about the historical importance of this image (or indeed of any of Richter’s oeuvre), I can say that if I were taken into a room and told that I had ten minutes left to live and could spend that time looking at either ‘Las Meninas’ or Richter’s loo roll, I’d choose the latter without missing a beat.

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By: Lee Triming http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-4036 Fri, 25 Nov 2011 23:20:57 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-4036 Hi Sam

Thanks for asking – this gives me the chance to contextualize that comment in a way the word count for this piece wouldn’t allow. I was in art school doing my MA in the mid-90′s, and a ridiculous percentage of the painting going on there at the time was utterly beholden to Richter. It was these young, emerging artists whom I was thinking of above: it seemed at the time that every show you went to contained at least one fuzzy black and white painting of an oddly cropped photo or newspaper article – there were legions of these, though I’d be at a loss to name any of them now (I found it too dull to take note of who was making these identikit paintings at the time). To look at Richter’s more lasting legacy would require considering his influence in a more subtle way, and I’m not a historian and wouldn’t presume to do that. I do however remember thinking at the time that Brad Lochore was someone who seemed both indebted to Richter without being enslaved to him (though I’m not necessarily as interested in his output now as I was then.)

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By: Mary Romer http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-3945 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:05:00 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-3945 Francesca, I have now only just been to the Richter exhibition and agree “Hanged” was the best painting, along with the two pictures titled “Arrest” shown together in the Baader Meinhoff series. I find them compositionally excellent, the nearest Richter gets to a real sense of what I understand to be abstraction. I do however, get huge pleasure from the Cage paintings, but I am willing to accept that they are perhaps just wonderful ‘decorations’ on a massive scale that I enjoy losing myself in. I would be interested in what your views are on the Cage works?
Mary

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By: Francesca Simon http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-3646 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 21:57:04 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-3646 I agree with Robin Greenwood that the artist’s intentions and their relation to the finished work is an interesting topic but in Richter’s case it seems to me that the primary interest is in observing him developing one process or particular technical expertise after another; he is an artist driven by materials and discovering what he can do with them. John Holland says the resulting paintings, “never resolv[e] into much more than artful experiments in ‘picture-making’’; a bit harsh but right. But I also think that advances in abstract painting may come through process. Do we need to dignify his work with conceptual interpretation?
For me the best painting was ‘Hanged’, from the Bader Meinhof series. Viewed from close up, where figuration dissolves, this became a fluid abstraction.

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By: Luke Elwes http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-3614 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:52:26 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-3614 Sam, it would be difficult to identify a school of Richter, but as I walk around the show I can instantly see elements of his practice being deployed by at least half a dozen painters I know. They respond to how, not why, he makes an image. Where he freely lifts from others, so others lift from him. It is the recurring visual tropes in his work rather than the developmental arc of his career that appeals. By refusing to privilege one approach over another, he gives painters license to move beyond the critical terms (and therefore value judgements) that pertain to ‘abstraction’ and ‘figuration’.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-3404 Wed, 09 Nov 2011 22:47:14 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-3404 Lee, I’d just so really like to know why you think ‘Toilet Paper’ is a ‘fantastic’ painting, because I’ve walked passed it a few times now, thinking it was profoundly uninteresting. What other ‘fantastic’ paintings would you rank it alongside? ‘Las Meninas’? The Moroccans? Something of that order?

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By: Sam Cornish http://abstractcritical.com/article/richter-scale/#comment-3382 Wed, 09 Nov 2011 08:36:55 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2400#comment-3382 Hi Lee,

The nineties in painting is one of my blind spots (before I was old enough to be interested and sometime after the artists who I know more about historically). I would be interested to see a few examples of painters you thought were influenced by Richter, to both good or bad effect.

Sam

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