Gerhard Richter: Landscapes Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Mar 2011
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perhaps more discussion needed on hiow landscape paiintings are derived from photographs but have a different quality. Not much mention of the technique going from photograph image to painting image and tools uese.
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For those who see Richter as the master of the panoramic views of mysterious subjects viewing the works in this fine volume may at first seem strange. But Gerhard Richter has long been a proponent of landscape painting in the influence of the great landscape artists such as the German Caspar David Friedrich, the Swiss Arnold Böcklin, and the British J.M.W. Turner and John Constable: his own comments include "my landscapes are not only beautiful or nostalgic, with a Romantic or classical suggestion of lost Paradises, but above all 'untruthful'... by untruthful I mean the glorifying way we look at Nature--Nature, which in all its forms is against us, because it knows no meaning, no pity, no sympathy..."
At times Richter paints his landscapes purely from gessoed canvas to brush while at other times his technique is to overpaint photographs with either light washes or with added created commentary that gives the finished image an entirely different meaning. He has painted both black and white townscapes inspired by newspaper articles or photographs as well as lush impastos of heavy paint creating vast seascapes or vistas of mountains or ledges with impossibly visualized distances. He at times seems to be contradictory in his view of nature: the images can vary form Romantic, hazy, foggy atmospheres to raw abstraction strokes that seem at odds with the tranquility of the landscape. His artistic drive seems to respond to the need to show the viewer the rawness of nature uncontrolled by man.
The accompanying essays in the book are brief and pointed and add that necessary aspect of coming closer tot he strange work of Gerhard Richter. This is a powerful collection of images, well worth adding to the library of contemporary art. Grady Harp, September 11
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