Spiegel, Grau [Mirror Painting (Grey)] (1991)
About this artwork
Richter began to use glass in his work in 1967, when he made ‘4 Panes of Glass’. In that work, each pane was framed and fixed to a stand, so that one could look through them individually. It had a strong cerebral content, in keeping with the contemporary Conceptual Art movement, but it also had a certain dead-pan humour. What are paintings, after all, it seemed to say, but windows on the world? ’11 Panes of Glass’, made almost forty years later, is much less conceptual. By stacking them up, one after another, Richter is able to play with glass’s ability, both to be looked through, and to reflect. Because there are multiple panes, the transparency is incrementally affected by the reflectivity of the glass. The blurring effect is similar to that found in Richter’s photo-paintings.
- title: Spiegel, Grau [Mirror Painting (Grey)]
- accession number: AR00022
- artist: Gerhard RichterGerman (born 1932)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Painting
- materials: Pigment on glass
- date created: 1991
- measurements: 280.00 x 165.00 x 4.50 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © Gerhard Richter
- photographer: Antonia Reeve Antonia Reeve
Richter was born in Dresden, where he studied from 1952 to 1957. In 1961 he settled in Düsseldorf, where he studied under Joseph Beuys. In 1963 he began using images from press photographs and amateur snapshots in his paintings, deliberately blurring them in order to undermine and challenge the boundaries of painting and photography. In the early 1970s Richter explored theoretical ideas about colour in a series of colour charts. In a similar systematic way he made a large number of grey paintings in which he experimented with texture and brushstrokes. Since the late 1970s Richter has painted an ongoing series of colourful abstractions and alternated these with painstakingly accurate renderings in paint of photographs of landscapes, people and still lifes.